Corners

I am trapped in the spaces

where indecision forms tight

corners that cinch

and smother

collectively forcing me

into walls that tower, high above

until I am in

over my head 

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“Still Another Day”

“The days aren’t discarded or collected, they are bees
that burned with sweetness or maddened
the sting: the struggle continues,
the journeys go and come between honey and pain.
No, the net of years doesn’t unweave: there is no net.
They don’t fall drop by drop from a river: there is no river.
Sleep doesn’t divide life into halves,
or action, or silence, or honor:
life is like a stone, a single motion,
a lonesome bonfire reflected on the leaves,
an arrow, only one, slow or swift, a metal
that climbs or descends burning in your bones.”

~Pablo Neruda, Still Another Day~

Senses

sharp scent of bitter reality

mixed in with the tang

of sweet hope

the sting of salt and

wet dew on soft

skin

future resting on the

shoulders of a rocky past

and the sour taste of sadness

lingers still

Inspire Me

They ask me where my inspiration

Comes from

How I get such ideas

Swimming around in my head

They poke and prod and 

Ponder

Pin-point the things I say

Like it’s delicate surgery

And I’m on the table

Scrutinized under eerie white

Lights and babble.

They ask me where I get

The words

And all I can say is

I wish I knew 

Khartoum In Summer

Unpaved street caked in dust

Three clay buildings stand side by side

Baking in the sun

 

Sand grains line every surface

Turn the city yellow

Breathing dust here, not oxygen

 

Kiosk with its expired products —

Grandfather sends the boys for bread

 

Al Fayhaa, this neighborhood is called

Strange and familiar

First time seeing home 

 

House full of cousins

Laughter and card games

Call from the kitchen:

Dinner time

 

Fans spin slowly and suddenly the generator is silent

Aunt is ready with her flashlight —

Power-outs are a regular occurrence

 

The heat is palpable

Even at night

It sticks to skin and suffocates

Melting the sand

That has seeped into your mouth

 

Kataaha — sand storm

It sweeps in suddenly

An orange blanket for a yellow backdrop

 

Laughter continues

The world is silent outside the dust-lined window

No sign of life as sand creates a rainbow arc

Of yellow

 

Generator whirs

Fans synchronize and spin

Generator stops

 

This is home