the ides of august 2013
mood matching miles
when he sketches
spain, i pass
baba’s office en route
to supply closet’s
fresh paper. arabic
pulls my ear.
it is ahmed –
u.s. citizenship granted
just 30 minutes
ago as helicopters
rain fire on
ramses square. sky:
storming grey blues.
album cover red.
on the stool
in the far corner
of my aunt’s big kitchen
while waiting to know what she
is expected to do next. rayon kerchief
covered head, sweat beads decorating full qamar face.
looks at her hands while smiling wide innocent to herself,
hugs me tight tight, smells like older womens’ worked dampness.
ten-year-old Kareema. eighteen-year-old me asks
about her whenever we call our cairo family.
surprise always clear on the hissing line.
she runs away at twelve – escapes
to home. aunt and uncle
shake heads, suck their
teeth. she chose
our dear cousins never realize she was just a kid.
daughter: baba got no
fucks to give bout her diggin’ roots.
for Bilal Samir Eweda
Bilal. Shot him while he
protested. The Prophet loved his
Rubble wedged between my toes when we stepped outside.
The night had been much too busy.
Next door, Mrs. Addem’s garden wall crushes two varieties of jasmine and herself alongside –
rubble wedged between her toes. When she stepped outside
to breathe fresher air sweet with night-blooming perfume, her pride
had swelled, such lushness had taken long care-filled hours. Her death, though fragrant, had not come quickly.
She felt the rubble wedge between her toes and everywhere. When we stepped outside
we could see – the night had been much too busy.