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(re)painting love

I found love in arms extended toward another.

December 12, 2023

Why did mama not tell me this isn’t love?
Not my body thrown across a mattress,
suspended from me.

The bones of dead hearts in winter.

It isn’t my bare legs in the shower;
my arms scrubbing.
Not a body fraught with the exotic,
wet dreams and hurt egos.

I found love in arms extended toward another.
In the pebbles of a long walk. The stumble of my legs,
still moving to reach the hilltop.

The words fall from my tongue like ripe fruits
eager to turn into jam.
A single spoonful on a piece of warm bread.
Enough for the cosmos on the tip of your tongue,
just discovering the ways of sugar.

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.