what need is there
for words
when blossoms
are poetry?



another unsent letter

Dear H.,

This is a new day. And finally, it has arrived. But… my head is still spinning with memories.

There are so many things I will always remember about our trip. So many moments will live with me forever. The shopping… the eating… the laughs… and getting lost in L. Remember how we were all gasping with anxiety because we were almost out of gas and we couldn’t find a gas station? The whole city was closed for the night, and here we were driving around on our last droplets of gas, not knowing where the hell we were or where the next gas station was. But… we were lost together. We felt invincible. We were unafraid. 

But one of the most bizarre moments that I know I won’t ever forget happened in the aftermath. You called me, yesterday, flustered and anguished, and said, “I completely forgot S. was sitting in the back seat, Nevine. What the hell was I thinking when I said that?” And I had to ask myself, What the hell were you thinking by not thinking? But what we say can never be unsaid. And, try as you did to reverse your words, or beautify them, or fix the situation, it was beyond repair. And I was left with my foot in my mouth, listening as you beat the bruise to a pulp, not knowing what to say… or do. 

In the absurdness of the moment, I wanted to burst out laughing. That is how peculiar it was. But then, something softened inside me. At the very last moment… something. You know that cliché about pouring salt over someone’s wounds? That’s what we would’ve been doing had I laughed after you said what you said. And I would’ve been consumed by guilt. And your presence, rather than being the consolation it was supposed to be, would’ve been a pain in my soul. 

Do you not yet understand what happened? And I almost contributed to the slap you delivered. Because, you know, nobody wants to be forgotten… ever. Imagine being forgotten when your face is stamped in someone’s rearview mirror. And they’re looking right at you… right through you… as though you’re not there. And they’re saying something that makes you feel like you want to disappear and never be found. Can you imagine that? Can you feel that loss of Self?

But I’m not altogether free of guilt, either. Because the first thought that came to my mind was, I’m so glad this happened on our way back. Had it happened on our way there, our entire day would’ve been ruined. So, really, I was thinking about myself. What mattered most to me was that our day not be touched by the merest inkling of darkness, by the smallest hint of imbalance. And so, I was more angry with you for fouling it up at the very end than I was for what you had done. Although, now that I think about it, had I been the one sitting in the back seat, with my face in your rearview mirror, listening to you make that insidious remark, so oblivious to my presence, I think I would’ve died inside. Died… one million times.

I just want to say… I hate that the ride back was so silent after what happened. I hate that my very last memories of that day are so branded with darkness. I hate that we all hugged and kissed one another goodbye in the small hours of a new day as if nothing had happened, when we all knew that something precious had cracked. I hate all of this… but I can’t change it. And if I was able to change it, now, after the fact, for what it’s worth… I don’t think I would. 

I sit in solitude.
I sit in silence.

This is a silence that can never be filled with voice. 




she said:
the youth have all departed

i said:
only the elders remain

she said:
but i can learn from them
can’t i?

i said:
older is not always wiser



on this new morning
in the embrace
of a new summer sun
my black lashes
are speckled with dewdrops
of golden shimmer
like iridescent lollipops
teasing the air
inviting it
to come
to look
to lick
summer’s sweet light
from the fringes
of metaphysical perception

and i am here
i am here


i am here



tonight, someone in the house next door
will move the chairs and tables on their back porch.
and i will listen, hear, think,
these are the sounds of reality. understated.
unclear from beyond windows and air.
still, reality.

if i swallow a pill and draw blankets about me
and lie down in bed and close my eyes…
is this sleep?

tonight, i won’t try to sleep.
i will know i should be sleeping.
but i won’t want to sleep.

i will choose the dreamless night.
i will keep my eyes open.
i will sit beside my solitude… and let it lay its body across my back.
i will let it swallow me whole.
i will let it grab me by the ankles and pull me inside.
i will let it devour me like a dazzling poison.
i will let it speak to me.
i will let its voice echo inside the chambers of my bones.
i will let it deliver a miracle.

i will do this.
not for pain.
not for bleeding.
but for healing.

i am addicted to emotion.



i thirst
for alchemy



complete stranger
saw me at a store
lifting heavy ceramic pots
for my front lawn
and said to me:

ma’am, you’ve got
some tomboy in you,
lifting those pots
all by your pretty self.

and i gave him
my left eyebrow
but smiled to myself
and thought:

i might have
some tomboy in me
on the outside, fool,
but on the inside
i’m all girl.



with patience
with patience



we sat by the pool. the sun reflecting off the water. stinging our eyes. stinging our skin. like small bites. like tiny pinpricks. stabbing… so lovingly.

you plunged inside.

then beckoned me.

and the water? it beckoned me, too.

how beautiful the water. how gently it caressed us. how jokingly it teased us. pushing us around from left to right. surrounding every crease of our skin. your skin. and mine. bonding us… ever more.

like glue.

did you see me peek at you beneath the water?
did you see me glide my eyes over your limbs while sun and water rippled all about you?

did you feel me breathing out my love, my love?

i saw you part your lips inside that sky blue.

i heard your voice… like the sound of whales calling their mates in the wild and open sea.
i heard the birds from up above… chirping their sweet summer songs.

i felt… inside my heart… the brush of dandelion against the thirsty grass, trampled by the sparrows’ feet.

i saw…

touched fingers…
touched lips…
touched bodies…

desire and delicacy…

moments of calm…
moments outside
the taint of imperfection…
moments… crafted
by an invisible hand.

in this water…
in my anchor…

i could not bring myself to turn away from you.


i drew nearer… and you drew nearer, yet.

and inside the depths of blue
we enveloped one another
inside… around…
the exquisiteness
of what we are.

how perfect
we are…

how flawless

… when we come



there is no place
for imagination

it happens so quickly

the thoughts
fall… from the sky of dawn
plunge… through the light of day

touch earth
then rest

and agitate
and rouse

it happens so quickly

and my inkpot
is filled to the brim
with dreams



i dream with open eyes
of copper pennies
raining from purple skies

i dream of magic coins
kissed fervently by lovers
and tossed over shoulders
into fountains that have heard
whispers of hope for all eternity

have i ever told you
how i fish the pennies
from the fountains
and press them
to my burning eyes?

have i ever told you
how i shield my eyes
from the twisted images
of waking dreams
and cool them with
droplets of brackish water?

have i ever told you
how i steal the fervent wishes
of those who dare to dream?

i imprison

in the space
between coin and lip

and lick it
with my tongue


is mine

can you tease it
from between
my silent breaths?

i dare you…