homeless.

the things i want to feel cannot be spoken of.
only written;
and drowned into the chest of a corpse.

i want to feel a love
that rips the heart from my chest
and spits it at my feet.

a kind of longing that tears
all hair from my head
and ties it a noose around my neck.

a faith that would
hold my hand and crush my bones
before it collapsed into ashes
onto my fractured palm.

and the kind of death
that would slip between my legs
and take me away away away
onto yet another breathless
lonely life.

the things i want to feel cannot be spoken of.
only felt;
and forgotten.

••ra’ahe khayat

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umbrella.

twenty-one years have taught us rains
into the first week of june
after a tedious month of vehemence-

with apoplectic winds lashing against naked lungs
filled with nascent resentment,
and crusading skies
despairing over a fissuring devotion.

although
this year the wrath came untimely.

unexpectedly.

on the last day of january
the earth beneath us kneeled over,
and for four months he harboured a perfervid silence
and i harbored an incipient apathy.

summer was long and loathsome.

and

on the seventh day of june,
the night crackled with a long breathing bitterness;

but

there is no rain-

only an open umbrella
against a heaving, shriveled sky.

••ra’ahe khayat

 


 

this is for the people i’m expected to love. people i’m beginning to hate. and yet, people i feel nothing for anymore. i wonder which is irredeemable- hatred or apathy?

love letter and a dime.

i have loved you long for longer years, in stories of myth and death and pain, throughout histories of broken tales, and premonitions of mirrors bleeding upon a poem i would, and perhaps should carve out of the chambers beating breathlessly in my heart- a heart that you could quite literally feel dying an asphyxiated death beneath the hollowness of the ribcages you spent your nights painting with. somedays, when the rain is no less than a painless substitution for the ink i fill my copperplate nibs with, i can hear you wordlessly walk the short few steps from the window to the bed, in search of a moonless dusk we both lost somewhere along the way from one year to the next, as the guitar strings and the violin blades tangled away from our skeletal ankles, predilecting pulse in lieu of a coffin coldness.

ossification was just one of the few words i’d taught myself to describe the slow evolution of all those nerves firing and misfiring behind my eyes, as the candles voicelessly faded away from my nails- leaving a charred mass of blade behind, to live with a regret never forgiven (perhaps never even memorized). and how could i possibly forgive you once you nailed our steps to the walls as a scornful portrayal of yesterday, and a cruel mockery for tomorrow- architecting the devastating intricacies of jahannum within the labyrinthine abstractions of jannah.

sing my darling, i should like to whisper, but today, i’d much rather be sucked under the vortex of reality than swim in the shallow water illusions of fantasies, and fate, and folklores about victorian chandeliers hanging inside greecian palaces, where a solitary raven cries away to the crescendo of a corroded leviathan gateway descending upon a widow’s bouquet of stygian roses. i wouldn’t be a mourner- someone haunting pages of literature with a million expressions and phrases about how sunsets on boneyards awakened a long dead body with a longer dead heart as it simply brushed away decayed decades off it’s veins and begun beating to the notes of my flute in a strange forgotten symphony- no, i’d much simply rather be one of those dark eyed dames you’d see crossing the roads, (when cars chase a scarlet comet with headlights and horns) walking with footsteps feathering on losing and belonging. just never quite anywhere- yet completely never- nowhere.

••ra’ahe khayat

the folding and unfolding of a love-story.

i.

it began on the fourth week of february
when she fell in love with
a bird under a man’s skeleton.

before march stole in through the chimney,
she was licking at the little pockmarks
his beak had left on her lips
after they kissed.

i’d wondered if he was a jay bird;
she wondered if she was loved back.

ii.

april came with her days on her tongue,
and her nights behind her spine
she’d spent at the feet of her faith.

they both were born to gods
holding carvers to the other’s neck.

they both were born to gods
who never forgave.

mid may,
she hummed hymns into the hollow of his hips,

and he said—

‘we are children born to never love
but to only pray for the longing to wane
into

w h  i   s    p     e      r       s.’

iii.

it was on the seventh day of june
when she moved her heart
into the woodpecker’s hole he’d dug on her scapula:

covered with a stretch of skin
no rock dove would ever steal.

••ra’ahe khayat

how rosaries hold prayers.

i.

if we could make fish-tails out of poems
i would fold you into a myth,
and write you on the inner wall
of my last dorsal bone;

but we’re humans
—i and you—

and we breathe like most birds do
when autumn vines hang out their hearts
for passersby to tie dying wishes
to dried wishbones.

ii.

and years, and luna said—
‘wishes ever outgrow the secrets that cradle them.

whisper your whims whence they’re never heard,
and widowed sylphs might bear them home.’

iii.

you blew out candles on my ulnar nerves
to truss my heart to your bone;

and we were decades before we were lovers.

and we were ended
before our eyes learned to blink.

iv.

and luna said—
‘the love you loved was forebound to leave.’

v.

i pressed my prayers to your rosary
and your rosary to my chest,

and you threw a stone at the sky
and it shattered over us like our faiths.

••ra’ahe khayat

call (l’appel du vide)

and for years i’ve heard it-
a call

a lover’s call;

whispering and settling over my bones
like my skin does
– on most days when it is not being pulled apart
by those laodicean sparrows –
like a vow does
– during weathers when they bury their tongues
in octagonal caskets anchored
to my wrist –
like longing does
– each time the night parts my thighs
and slips in –

within

where a stranger voice from the skies
– from the void –
echoes.

••ra’ahe khayat

leave, for there isn’t much to stay for.

2bbbec97bd86eae5a789b4a926d15804if you have come to leave, then do not stay by me with your breath reeking of yesterdays -time decays by days, heart decays by the hours- and i and you, we decayed in the heartbeats it took for the sparrows to migrate from northern longings to southern silences.

if you stay, but do not remain, then be there in that faraway land where the sky weeps into your palms, with the very lover you keep leaving behind, simply to come watch me fall;
but
if you must, then be here until the very end, when the rocks fill my marrows, and exorcise them of the monsoon that grieves without rain.

if you have come to but watch the stars lose their grip on my hair, then flit away little bird, the earth is yet to learn to fill the spaces under the skin of those left with much but ghosts;
-i’ve had far too many lovers to remain human. i’ve loved your heart in far too many ways to remain with one.

if you last to only feast on the memories buried in my areola, then perhaps you musn’t- there isn’t much brown that lingers on my nerves,
there isn’t much of the blue either.

••ra’ahe khayat

death is as delicate as life is callous.

you watch the day breakdown in quite hymns and lose its faith in quieter breaths at moments when it becomes more and more difficult to watch the blue jays on your window sills struggle to fly with half torn wings.

you listen to the afternoon wail and beg the same way an old man begs for his wife (dead for a decade now) to hold his fingers against her breast and remind him that he can forget to take another breath and still remember the sound of her last one.

it’s here today- a sun that is struggling to rise from its grave, because sometimes the dead die in the most phlegmatic of ways-

in the eulogies of themselves that never spoke of their name.

••ra’ahe khayat

epitaph.

and when i die—

strip my skeleton of it’s skin,
and my organs of their bones,
and scatter them on concrete laden roads
for the dying to paw at;

throw my eyes and my lungs and my womb,
but my heart—

keep that which never loved
yet broke
everywhich day it longed
but never did more.

place it within a burning pyre of wisteria wood,
and gather their ashes for splintered sparrows
to carry off to the tongue
of my lover

i never could love after all.

••ra’ahe khayat