Departure


Hold me, hold me in your heart

for in your eyes you will behold me no longer
I will be long gone beyond touch, greeting, or grief

like the peonies of spring post a shower or two
past summers, tides and waves

past birthdays and anniversaries
like cranes that fly in during winter

to be long gone as the bleak sky lifts
even tears become flaky lines of salt once wiped away

what trace of pain remains but just the memory
whimpers are sobs gone flat, choking subsides

arms grow limp, clenched fists relax

the pillows dry

handkerchiefs fly away in the wind
the roses bleed not with their rosiness

but as each petal drops listlessly

until there is just a bunch of stumps
the Sun sets, the Moon waxes and wanes

laughter dies, honeymoons end
so, it is nothing strange that I should leave

I would have loved to tarry a little longer
but I have been hurried along

probably will miss the next Ramadaan

as well as the next Eid
O’ how I wish to have made the Hajj

but it will have to wait

you go along without me
remember me when you don pilgrim’s white garb
reach for Zamzam’s deliciously cool timeless drops

while moving in circles around the Black Cube

or hurrying between the hillocks of Safa and Marwa

just like the distraught Hagar
remember me at the Station of Ibrahim

and, for sure, at the grave site of God’s Friend
beseech his Lord to watch out for me

I am Palestine

I died so that Jerusalem should live!


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