Hind Shoufani

(1978 / Beirut)

WaistLands - Poem by Hind Shoufani

(Written on a bus, briefly taken aback and mesmerized by your exposed knee)

I suffer from your beauty.
Even the square curve of your knee,
hard and compact like your voice,
is a perfect crevice, shape of sunlight
for these desert-frozen fingers, a clasp of
jewel knuckles yearning. I would run hands
along solid spaces of
your thigh, soften
I would harden myself
become turgid with inaction
I would wave undulating fragile insides you see not,
paint stroke the length of you, tall a distance
from my seat to yours.

I would then let tongue, raspy cotton, old and unwashed,
blossom languages, speak
words inherent. Move, a
diaspora towards pleasure higher, further
up the mountain trail of
your skin,
finger feminine me leads lips to sacrosanct
intersections of your edges,
yielding muscles that could heat and
grow a bridge between souls, two laps sitting
across a seat from this secret.

Contract and relax, a breath
of nature in every reflex, you breathe, eyes
away, burying tempests could possibly rampage
at the core of you.
A universe hidden in this motion, I
can crawl,
I can crawl an empty quarter parched for the map to your waist.

I would then lean in on your chest, leave
the wetness of primal
swamps behind for merely a plunge into you.
Your arms a canyon to set up camp in, to
make a small fire, heat heart and
feet and close the eyes. I would find
borders to my refugee
blood. I would
order a citizenship,
make a permanent passport.
Draw a land property owned with my teeth
on the horizon between your nipples.

A home from within and without,
a resting swatch of grass with dew, ground
for homeless
curls. A purple iridescent valley is
your expanse. A rocky hell. A jagged wasteland
of hope
oppressed. A temple obscure, as a planet
rotates between our heartbeats,
one seat apart.
Your smile is the sphere of earth and her orbit.

I would wander upstream . I would plant buds
of kisses like tulips,
fuchsia. Your nape, a soft winged bird
can depart in rapture,
flight. Free fall into the universe that
carries me, afloat.
I would trudge the geography, soar all the way to
my heart, beating a retreat from this
life solitary
we once knew.
I would live there.
I would die there. Your brow an assigned grave
to a past remembered and
discarded.

I would let our faces discover the distance
of nothing, the separation of being
one, a unit of skin
that cinders, and I would, I would finally
drop anchor on your lips.
I would come home to your lips.
I would be finished.
I would be stone that
speaks poems. Time traveling lips
unleash histories straight to your
lungs, alive. I would pour soul honey
into your cavity,
into all that is craving sugar words
and the insides of me,
sweet.
I would kiss you until there was no more you.

I would kiss you until you become the
dictionary of anything I ever desired,
in all the letters ever invented-
and abandoned- for love.
I would kiss you, kiss you till we infuse
nothing but moonlight internal.
I could light up your cells.
I could bewitch your future with spells, blazing.

But the angular cruelty of your knee is a razor blade.
Beside me, translucent blood spills
over our feet, concrete bricks.
You read, I write.
Desire for you pricks.

And you are my friend,
you are my friend,
you are my friend.

And it is the year two thousand something,
and no one falls in love anymore.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, June 6, 2017



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