Have you seen my tongue or Philadelphia or what I did under your nose?
Know-it-all, you were never too young, you were always better somehow but
I swear your eyes glow red when you’re mad and
the books you read are crap and
the games you play are crap and
you broke my heart too many times and
you were supposed to be my first love but
my first taste of you was sickening and
you never tried to change that and
you thought I would forgive you like
I was the breeze and I had to come around again.
But I was raised on the equator where I never saw a breeze
so I’ll become humidity and you can drown in me.

And I wonder if you think I’m the rebel
and if, when you prostrate, you pray for me
or if, when you step on ants, you think of me
saying “I don’t have the right to kill an ant,”
like I was a middle-school Ghandi.
You know in first grade I bragged about you because you were elusive and
You could touch the ceiling and
My friends were amazed but
I knew you could put it down on top of me.

Remember when you tried to teach me a lesson once?
It didn’t hurt but my ego did
when you bought me a present to make up for it.
I hid your present in my room.
It was a yellow elephant with pink ears and
I only look back at it as unnatural.

Now all my friends are people who don’t care and
I am temperamental and fat like you.
My face is the same and my hands are the same.
And I bet you still sit playing
spider solitaire.
My sister has arachnophobia.
My brother won’t touch a PC.
You made us sticky and see-through like tape.
And I used to think being enlightened would mean that I wouldn’t get hurt
but it just means that your actions are most hurtful to me.

It takes me a few years to wake up from the haze of my reality; confused and adjusted to daylight savings and afraid to go to sleep because I don’t want to waste the morning buzz.

And because I am lucky, it takes me back to the wall that divides the school and the church and tiny ladybugs start crawling like animated rubies on my skinny wrists. Till my best friend comes and picks one up and eats it.

In my life there have been symbols but when I came back to Saudi, on the second day, I found a yellow ladybug and I didn’t know the name of a yellow jewel yet.

So I bought all these books and found myself immersed in crystalized copper. And now I standing in a meth lab, or a half-finished high-school lab and I’m titrating orange juice with no regard to how basic it was in the first place. I dropped two cents worth of indicator and waited for something to happen.

But let me explain, I never meant to write so that one day someone will come along and fall in me like I’m a well waiting for quarters or nickels to sell. And I mean to rhyme but when I do it’s just something Snoop Dogg wrote and released to the garbage chute, to live its life as the wallpaper of the garbage rats. But maybe I have rhythm;

It’s like the silver moon rises in my eyes, every night.
And the elders taking cocaine, opium, absinthe
super crazy hypno-technic blue dream
take a whiff of me and can smell their sunrise.
Take a lick of me and I can tell you something horrible
like why you look that shape or why you’re afraid of mirrors
and you walk like your last names Angelou and you have swagger on the thousands
Take one hit of me.
I am accustomed to burning out for your peace of mind.

You could never taste me.
Because when I was in bloom,
You were intoxicated.

I could tell you of my opiates;
Swift decision making and leaving.
But you never let me smoke, so I could always taste you.

You are childlike, at best.
Dressed-up, at best.
Small and fragile, and quite honestly intoxicated, at best.

So I gave my best.
And now, I feel quite alone, wondering if you would find my unprotected slivers.
Wondering if green pastures would be beneficial.
Wondering about your nothingness, your fleetingness, your yesterday’s news.

I could write the greatest, once upon a time.
And tell the gentle story of a girl who’s life was absconded by dry-run rehearsals of dress-runs.
One that could move a crowd to shudder, shamefully and enter empty pockets of hollow sorrow and start to mull morosely over empty pathways and trigger fingers.

But that was a long time ago, perhaps two, three years.
And perhaps sheepish consumption – once revered for beautiful rebellion – has led the way to regret and over-boiled wisdom
which should have been fried lightly anyway.

My ‘last resort’, so to speak, is a nocturnal dog that holds the world tightly.
It is a long languished dead language, wishing to be found and cried over, sworn by and promised.
And occasionally, punished.

In Arabic there’s a saying that goes ‘كاد المريب ان يقول خذوني” or transcripted ‘Kad al-mureeb an yaqool khothooni’. Literally translated (and doubt not that it is far more eloquent in its native language) it would be ‘The suspicious person almost says ‘Take me!’ meaning, of course, that one who has committed a crime expresses their guilt in their demeanor, actions and words. Profound, methinks.

Could you be completed by the sounds of children’s footsteps?
It’s an understandable question when you are standing on an edge.

I’ve waited a very long time to hear you read out loud the words I wrote last summer. Images I conjured with cliches, admittedly. But they were created out of simpleness.

Can you be completed when the sulfur sticks to your skin or is it something you imagined? Is it pipe dreams you’re looking for or elephantasized successes? And can they coexist?

I want poppy seeds to plant in all my lining, sheaths and ligaments. Something subtle, calming, constant like an advantage or advances.

But there’s only one way to meet old friends and there’s no ‘or’ about it.
There’s a bittersweet rite that wonders if the old adage holds true.
There’s a sense of inappropriate civility and an aura of authenticity and a word barely remembered that can’t be spoken for but should be spoken.
There is contractual happiness and actual heartbreak and selfishness, above all selfishness.
There are friends and paths and sentiments and futures all so fragile that there can only be one way to meet old friends.

I’m sure you’re right that in the long-run it never matters
But I’ve been near-sighted since I was five
And I haven’t prophesied since ten
And the last time I was perfect, I was fifteen

Some mountains, I assure you, start as molehills
and the rushing, flooding, building, mounting regret, it starts somewhere.

I’m looking for a pound of flesh or iron-fisted rulings.
I want walls and walls of segregation and the ability to never look back.
I want sleep that begets sleep that begets sleep till I don’t have to wake up and think about how I squandered self.

Perhaps I’ll find the pieces and chunks of flesh-coloured hopes and dreams and without glues and tapes I might find edges that so long to attach and unify that they muster their courage and capabilities to make a whole. Perhaps.

I’d be a snake
slighted by the discrepancies of this final curtain call;
aggressive, lethal – he said it was the female;
unattractive, growing and always eyeballing the rub;
taking slow steps to your doorway, asking comprehension questions;
standing till you leave a crack or sliver unprotected;
striking with force and finding you willing;
How is it that you so professionally dress as a a decoy and make your way to gnaw on soul.

I’m going through my withdrawal symptoms, again.
Like a checklist, I find, my maladies are – also cyclical.
It tastes like metal, iron, estrogen and Plath’s blood on my hands.

Write what you know and if you write everything, you’re a fool.
Gentle paraphrasing never hurt a soul.

Take my lips for yours, I don’t feel like I will need them anymore.
Remember the imprints of noses in stomachs and the firm pressure of nervous hand-holding.

I began with a young history, flourished and bloomed.
Now is forever, forever entombed.
Under brick walls and bathroom stalls,
And red pigeon under-bellies in Leeds,
Screeched names and prophesied.
In between sorcery and infamy
I find, I’m blind, I cannot see.

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