Roqayah Chamseddine


We’ve spent our entire lives clutching passports,
airline boarding stubs, evidence enough to hush
the howling wounds that try with all their might
to convince us we were dreaming
far from your embrace.

I can taste the bitterness of loving you
as if I’ve spent days chewing the last
lemon rinds from my grandmother’s orchard,
gnawing on the sweetness of burning tires
now fuelling flames of protest on your street

to keep me from giving up on you
even though they told me, End
my suffering. Forget you. But
how can I not inhale your scent
in the fibre of my pillows,

fine strands embroidering my dreams.
Beyond the headstones nothing
lasts, they said, After the war
nothing lasts. Yet as your earth
wraps itself around my feet,

and the world slips away, I care
not even when Atropos shears
this thread of life,
for in your soil my heart
already has found Eternity.

Roqayah Chamseddine a Lebanese-American journalist based in Sydney blogs at  Follow her on twitter @Roqchams

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