abcedarian la amman

by Tasneem Maher

albi stays bi amman every time i leave,
biddal remembering the shape of every
cloud bitmor across your skies. bas i won’t be here
dayman, we both know. you were made for
eternal summers in my head where my
feet ached min kol jbalek w tlalek.
gold sea of olive oil from the trees at teta’s
house w sahraat on her back porch.
i remember the glimmer of your stars,
just visible when i look past el amar w
kol your pinprick streetlights. you know, i didn’t
love myself until i loved you w kol your
moons – blood moon, blue crescent – w your
never-ending azmeh, my head leaning
out of the car window. my favourite
part is driving through tunnels b nos el leil with the
quiet rush of air w your sudden bareness. it was
respite from you zaman because when the
sound faded, i no longer had to fill
the space with my feeble tarjameh anymore.
understand that to adapt was to lose the the meter and
verse of lineage, to break the tangled
words lodged in my mouth. hadi-l-ayyam, i let
xanthic sunsets wash over me, comfort myself with
your familiarities, the things we both cherish.
zaman, it wasn’t like this. zaman, i hated you.

Tasneem Maher is an Arab writer and poet who encourages theatrics and melodrama of any kind. A Best of the Net nominee, her work has been featured in Vagabond City Lit, Kissing Dynamite, and Jaffat El Aqlam, amongst others. She is an alumna of the Glass Kite Anthology Writing Studio and the Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program, and is currently a third year English Literature student. She is also Fiction and Personal Essays Editor at Sumou Mag. She tweets @mythosgal.