Fear by 7ala Abdullah

Posted on December 18, 2012 by

2


We dug our graves with our bare hands,

carved our tombstones with lines of our

favorite poems. We chiselled nostalgia

into stone, made warm homes out of

our inevitable demises.

 

We the ones in love with the melancholy

of verse. We the ones infatuated with

guilt; we fed off the bittersweetness

of forbidden longing and called ourselves

and each other lovers.

 

But sometimes

I think

we were never lovers.

 

Sometimes I think we never possessed

one another.

 

Sometimes I think I grabbed and pulled

at that gravel with what I could never

tell was only the ghost of you.

 

There are chapters in our book even I’m

not sure are true.

 

There are verses I don’t know if you

wrote or if I wrote them to you.

 

There are poems with so much life that

I can’t help but wonder how either of

us managed to pen them when we were

always dying of hunger.

 

There are lifetimes before you that I

can’t even remember.

 

I want to know if you remember.

 

I want to know if you recall exactly

how you felt that night I buried my

I love yous in the back of your neck,

how I tripped on the syllables until my

tongue tied the words in knots that slept

on my palate until they fell asleep

under your skin.

 

It took courage to speak them out loud

and I could never find bravery anywhere

within me.

 

My weaknesses ended me.

 

I want to know if you remember the way

I clenched my fists that night in November

when I finally breathed that sigh of closure.

 

I don’t know if you knew it was over.

 

I don’t know which one of us picked up

that shovel and filled up those graves

to bring redemption a little bit

closer.

 

There’s so much I still don’t know.

 

There’s still so much inside me that I’ll

never get to show you.

 

There are so many poems underneath my

ribs I’ll have to hold inside as secrets.

 

I’ve made my peace with this.

 

But I want to know that when you teach

your children of the beauty of love

one day, you’ll think of me and all

of the things that we wanted to but

couldn’t be.

 

 

I want to know that even then when the

memory of me is lying deep within the

debris of your youth, you’ll still think

of me when you speak of intimacy.

 

But still some nights I’m kept awake with

the fear that you might have never been as

near as I thought you were.

 

Or that you might have been just a ghost.

 

An illusion at most.

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