We disappeared in 1983

by Yasmine Rukia

The past is a haunting balcony in the back of the house. We were all alone when the doorbell rang, the
stranger was not strange but just a wandering circus of curious clouds, nimbus, and stormy green mist. I
never knew what any of the knocks wanted from the lonely house and its mickey mouse toaster. The
dresser had five stories, a divider of oak inside a French basin of presumptuous angle. Curves tell us
something, mountains are anchors to the sky, and in the cleavage of tomorrow there isn’t such a chance
to fly deep into space, a darkness we called a mind. Futball was at 3pm, and the kids were asleep by
dawn. Those afternoons were filled with the lusting cicadas and their thirst for never ending summer
The muses… nectar dripped from her Grecian legs. I climbed the stone column, kissed Jupiter like I really
missed him all week, ignored the sirens in the sky. Freedom tastes like fig, the sultry smoke of a record
player hitting the night exactly right like a deep lucid dream. You never know when the glasses will toast
or mourn the dove cooing in the window. When birds are caged, their wings start to slop like water. If I
had collected every tear I leaked in this lifetime, it would be RV-road trips of claw foot tubs across
dahiyeh and shatila. That blue dog sang of love, a clementine, oh his darling, I would laugh, what is not
so funny, as a love so true, the tabloids say it will continue to burn until it is sacred Zoroastrian fire,
history, a modern hotel on the street named for god’s own elephant’s tooth. Why use any kind of name,
labels electrified, a choke into submission, oh my friend, these names are dirt, and we are stamps in the
mail lost. Without want or worry, borders and air traffic, are a thing of the past and when we
disappeared we kissed the soil so deeply in feathers and poppy red they never forgot the black we wore
and what we said about yesterday.

Yasmine Rukia is a Lebanese-American short story writer, and experimental shia poet based in Dearborn, Michigan. Her work exploring the nexus of Arabesque America and mastering the art of being two places at once, can be found in The Gordon Square Review,  Mizna, Belt Poetry, Cliterature, PAPERMAG, The Black Warrior Review and elsewhere.