Witness

I the music that engulfed me first in the dim bar, is
the substance I use to break myself into a thousand parts
while I age carefully from younger to young
and then maybe, not so young
the rustle of brushes skimming cymbals, married
to the sound of a wailing saxophone
I witnessed it all
through the reducing horizon of the beer glass
my head sleeping over the damp table, my pants
whose pockets filled with unaccounted coins
and the notes I would later use to pay
for your cigarettes and chicken puffs
even share them while we switched between channels
on an outdated television surrounded by books
surrounded by shelves and more shelves
hanging on the walls paintings you made as a child
your clothes hanging outside the window whose pane
you sprinkled with a long joint, spiked
with teenage theatrics and young lust
and aromas of the kitchen scattered with leftovers
the music that engulfed me at first, is the last
the very last
time I ever heard someone tell me I’m lovely
I was told I’m a kid with the brain of a man
but the smile of a child
while you were a girl with the eyes of a woman
I witnessed it all
through the years of being a boy
reduced to an adult

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Tonight

Tonight I’m drowning, the sea
Stronger than usual, sways the moon’s reflection
From here to there, breaking into a million sparkles
The waves engulf me, like the sadness
Of not being a child anymore
I’m sinking as one sinks slowly with time, part by part
Letting go of that brief moment, between now and then
The sea covers me coldly
Tonight I’m drowning, turning
Into someone else, who will forget 
This moment as just a passing tide

Kahwa

“better to let things go than run behind them”, said
the grandfather of six at the edge of his seat
watching the valley get immersed under the mist of October
the yellow skin of autumn reddened under his bare feet
the soft pull of the hookhah in his lips, followed
by a flurry of fresh smoke

later in the evening when we gathered calmly
the sheep put to sleep nearby, fenced from the wolves
watery gosht potent with red chillies and saffron, naan
just baked by his cousin dipped bit by bit
suddenly all the plates were clean, as we
sat outside watching the milky way glide over the snow

the earth froze as we reached midnight
voyaging winds from neighbouring valleys came and went
gazing into the sky he began muttering songs in another language
and in only a few uncountable sips of light kahwa
I saw his entire life unravel before me
note after note

10.1.17

Garbage

The cat crosses the lane sighting fresh garbage, the truck
Slowed by the burden of the neighbourhood, coughs forward
Breaking at every shop as closed shutters
Align the street silently

In a house above the bulb strikes, commotion in a foreign language
Its sound mingles with the scent of sausages from the pan
Of the onlooker opposite, under him an old lady awakened by dreams of the future,
the cat is now near the roof, looking down with the fishbone in her teeth
how sad these windows are

And cheap cigarettes are lit with many attempts at igniting a match, the matchbox
Unused since last night is now almost empty
Swaying slowly in the street the smoke lulls the night, adding to the smell of waste
And in a certain moment, the wind suddenly arrives
Taking it all away from us

9.1.17