Ahlaam Moledina

after Mahmoud Darwish

In her absence I    created
              her image; glittering
as things not of this  body do.
There is    no measure for
this       rendition   of a    home
              unseen, on land long
missed;                 what is it to
reimagine what
must  first      be thought
      up, conjured like     a
trick,        dismantled
like one too? All I             know
of          her    is the        gleam,
holding     light     like
leaves, walls    fraying in
    eternal autumn. Rusting;
hayawanat run their laps
and    bury their     claws
        on images also. But
     absence   is   the  guide.
If roofs
  were a ready   thing
I would             not be so
steadfast  with the
of all     this mythical
              not so devoted
to  trapping      the   cement
of sunlight
              between my
gaze   backward and sight        ahead.
I have no      choice but
            to follow through
the    winding  vapour
streets  of dusk and    dust
 (absence tells me here
 it is  blood-coloured)
             and search for fruit
tasted  only in  memory-mouths.
Then like a robber I am led
through     cracked panes,
              asked to fix them, perhaps
invited  to watch the method  of
       the breaking,
how each jagged  slice  forms a
    knife,    or maybe a
mirror.  Each points  northeast
  in my image    and
the glass is    tinged  zahri,
and  like the   memories,
    light trickles in   with
new  breath  of this  uncity,
   decaying  and bright
                           in absence.

Ahlaam Moledina is a third-year studying Radio/TV/Film and Creative Writing. She’s from Birmingham in the UK, and she is equal parts embarrassed and proud of her tattoo of Birmingham’s area code.