Habibi is what your face looks like in the morning

Moving through me quietly and before me then

When you kiss me good night and fall asleep first

To the blaring news of death from far and near


Kismat is locking eyes at that meeting we were both asked

Not to attend on campus because it might offend us

Matching ourselves and our families and our fate

To a history that changed us both when we did not want it


Oud is what I hear when we walk down the street together

Listening to the night crawl in and the scent of dusk

Surrounding us and shaking us until we feel their pain

From holes shattered into walls a few feet ahead of us


Alam is seeing their tiny hands stretching for me

Dirty fingers pressed against their ruddy cheeks

The curls of their hair covered in dust and debris

Their ghostface eyes screaming, running out of air


Shukr is what I say when my keys open our door

And I find your worn leather shoes against the wall

The sound of the faucet in the kitchen against glass

Your voice still hanging here so many days later

Read more Issue Seven | Poetry

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