poet Ahmad Shawqi

Ahmad Shawqi

Latitudes Beneath Your Eyelids

Is a draught that slakes. Those volumes
left me cross-eyed, condemned, naked
and bewitched. Two shots pierced— my mind,
drunk and overcome (also by AsomBroso),
dresses me up in silly costume. I wear it:
you can't help but love this sorry outfit.
Love—what is it, but that old dialectic of master
and slave? Despite subjective meanings we give
a swell of gaze, the lure of one Ojo to another—
no matter the brouhaha—cocktail name or salt
& lemon garnish. Can't be bought or conveyed
like a laptop or lipstick. When asked, I tell them
it's an echo, stretched taught like skin
pulled over a Bedouin drum, until the drummer
stops playing, leaves you outside the music
tent, alone in the desert, turned into junk.
Like that old Howard Jones song goes,
does anybody love anybody, anyway?
Or the one about if love is a red dress-
then hang me in rags. Look away.
Let me hide my tattered ego from
your two glowing embers. The latitudes
of your eyes are daggers; I'm not strong
or wise. I've drunk my fill of their depths
until stabbed, the world spun dark, drowned
and bled— all over my funny dress.

Poem Submitted: Monday, April 14, 2014
Poem Edited: Monday, April 14, 2014

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