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serenity, the most private of afterglows

December 12, 2023

Najwa, I didn’t realize being honest felt as good as blurting out a secret borne from
my mind and no one else’s. It’s like watching the mesh of bubbles on the stout of
a ripe champagne bottle expand and dissolve on TV when I was a kid. The pop,
build up, rise, and settle. The mist of celebration. No, more like the bloated leak of
laughter after confession post-bottle, the revelation of fortuitously chucking your
pride along with the trash down the chute, the southern glide of a zipper heading
towards its destination, the credence to leave a conversation sans afterthought, and
serenity, the most private of afterglows. Won’t you feel it? The rise, build up, pop,
and . . .

This poem appeared in We Call to the Eye & the Night: Love Poems by Writers of Arab Heritage, edited by Hala Alyan and Zeina Hashem Beck and published by Persea Books.