Even birds know how beauty
begins at the
tiny suture between two wings.
But they know nothing about
this fall. We
slid our bodies down the dune,
the world crumpling into dust
skins. How wildly holy we were,
you and I, sightseeing beyond
soft on my chest and the almond-
shapedtasbih drooping from yours.
shadows what remains on those
sidewalks each time we unlearned
the familiar route
to school, sang “baami” to tease
the girls, or basined a stray sheep
a farmland devoured by brushfire.
At fourteen, I recall my father
gripping a boy
trying to teach him the origin
of names. AbrahamandIbrahim–
my father says,
can’t you seethere are too many
war-torn countries between
So, I mistake your glint. I mistake
my friend for a gun, and he
offers to smuggle
me out of harm. And this is where
the fall begins, you and I
tumbling from all
that height, an emptiness forming
right at the spot
where two shoulders once merged as one.