Asmaa Tayeh | 05-07-2018
My brother lives in Brussels, and so I dream:
Along the streets of Brussels,
Among singing troubadours,
Car horns, lovers' laughter,
And sidewalk conversations,
My tongue utters nothing.
But my eyes see everything,
Even my own thoughts,
Memories of cursed love stories,
Their plots cut short by broken traditions,
Their characters imprisoned by high fences
That separate them like wide oceans
From freedom and hope.
My feet carry me down another street
Where darkness brings me back
To where the wind blew out my candles
In windows that opened to nothing
But fragments of melancholic tales:
Where a child's greatest wish
Is a zoo with an elephant, a lion,
A llama, any beast to prove
the world beyond the fence is real.
Where a meeting takes place in paradise
With a lost father or mother,
Or meals are held with a grandma never known,
And a love story ends in happiness.
My lips move without forethought,
Whispering, “Have mercy on the soul of my city!”
Long minutes passed before I awakened.
My mother’s call woke me from my dream
Of that night walk in Brussels.
My homework lay spread on the floor.
Neglected study notes sparked my remorse,
And l stayed up all that aching night,
Asking the stars whether I should
Tell my stories and dreams
To a world that seems not to care,
Or play the unbreakable, stoic heroine,
As Gaza demands of me.
Posted: July 5, 2018
Mentor: Kevin Hadduck