Aleppo


grief

in weeks nothing has moved me.

 

i chase something and fail.

 

the screen dries my eyes.

 

no rivers flow in Aleppo.

 

there are no streams, only rubble.

only dead children litter the street.

a leaf falls outside my window.

my father coughs up blood.

 

soon he will die, withering, curling

like an Aleppo-dry flower.

 

the bombs rain in Aleppo. People cry.

A dry shower wets my hand. the light wets

the dying eyes my father wears on his head.

 

my father cannot rise. my mother kneels. she feeds him

water. the people of Aleppo cry for water. they beg. dust

is stuffed down their throat.

 

death marches into Aleppo

and into my home. my mother sits beside the sinking light,

asleep, awake I stand. the birds twitter, the birds twitter and fall

silent inthe night that Aleppo burns.

 

the night floats on the holy blue. the holy way towers into the

holy sky. the holy bell blares midnight to the statue with the arm

and the statue with the face and the statue with the bizarre smile

and the statue with nothing at all but holes. the world gapes.

 

the world is burning, the world needs to be knitted apart.

my house is on fire, the fields are on fire, i run out to face the stars

the shine on Aleppo. the plaster crumbles from the walls. no one arrives

and screams, look, Aleppo burns too!

 

there is nothing to knit me to the oceans of Aleppo

my ocean of grief cannot be contained by sheets dry as

Aleppo’s winds. the sun rises and falls, rises and falls

daily outside the window. the sky cleaves in half and

pools in the puddles on the bedroom  floor. my mother withers and dies

as Aleppo falls.

 

i am silent.

i cannot sing.

there are no words in me.

the spring is bricked.

i am dying, i am dying, choking on bunnies

and grenade-crusts.

 

i freeze and fall, freeze and fall

into the grey spiral streets a labyrinth under the skin

bursting with the birth of a thousand worlds, bloated

with the light of the moon. the moon blazes in the oil sky.

i claw and clutch, claw and clutch the ancient brick walls that weep,

the ancient brick walls that trembled with birth one day, my mouth

gapes in a scream a man in Aleppo screams.

 

how does one write, mother? how does one

sing, brother? father, can you help me? can you make me speak before?

father, can you hear me? mother, are you there?

 

or should i bid my final goodbye, like

the flowers of Aleppo do?