Speak by Rania Ghazal

Posted on April 27, 2013 by


A boy read to me once, holding a book with one hand, and stroking my
hair with the other. He had practiced for days, I could tell when I
noticed ink dripping from the corners of his mouth. I wiped it away
as he started filling me up with words.

Each minute passed like an hour. I lay on his milk-white thighs, staring into his hazel eyes. I sucked on each word that fell out of his mouth, tasting them like I was eating alphabet soup. Consonants were as sweet as honey and vowels
found their way under my tongue. They stood there, they cracked their
fingers. Some sentences grabbed me by the shoulders and yelled in my
face, sending a tsunami down my spine. They resembled uninvited guests
that walked into my heart without wiping their shoes, leaving
footprints on my pericardium. Other sentences caressed me as
soothingly as lover’s hands. Stacking themselves on top of one
another, they built me an altar to pray on when I felt confused.

A boy read to me once. He stuttered, so I ran my fingers over his
mouth like I was reading Braille. Phrases spilled over my hands and I
shoved them into my pockets. I have a whole jar at home. Sometimes, he
would stop reading when I don’t understand the meaning of a word. We’d
lay it down and cut it open like we were performing heart surgery.
We’d turn it inside out and study the depth of it. Afterwards, he
would resume. During breaks, we made coffee and listened to an indie
playlist. We were always drunk over each other’s company and didn’t
mind spending all our time hangover.

I knew a boy who read so beautifully, words fell in love with him. I
watched the silhouette of metaphors slow dance inside his mouth before
he spoke them out loud. I watched letters press themselves in place of
his missing teeth. I watch him turn into a poem.

I was a dried flower pressed between the pages of that boy, and I was content.

Posted in: Speak