Ala albik

On your heart


How do I explain to a stranger

I pray for their hearts

in sickness or in health


My language carries collective pain

The cries of an Olive tree

Older than the Occupation


My language is poetry

that loves the writer more,

carrying the red and black threads

Interweaving our dresses

and the new romantics

of our Old letters

falling for the lust of its strokes




Ala albik

On your heart


How do I explain my language was displaced?

Like us

And that I treat you

better than they treated

Arabic, that makes our tongue

Wanting more of its aftertaste

Craving for every word that caresses

Our taste buds

Penetrating our ears with

I love you


Ana wala inta

Me and never you


How do I explain to a stranger?

that I dream of the day

of taking their pain

to never have them feel it


My language lives in loops

Like the O’s of my hair and history of cutting it

Like the scorching sun that shone on their graves

Like the rings that make our baskets on our heads

Like the hoops of our endurance


Ya rooh alby

The soul of my heart

Inta eeyunee

You are my eyes


My eyesight is yours

to see the colours I surround you with.

The dark is afraid of my language

It feels threatened by the way

it makes you feel colour

As the wind carries its words

with ease.

The earth sighs in relief, Hamdillah


Arabic taught me that I love you.

with every inch of my body

moving in harmony

working with every bone

to spread my blood to my lungs,

counting every breathe


for you


Sabah il kheir

Good morning

Tisbah Alah Kheir,

Good night


How do I explain I wish for a stranger?

To have a morning of peace

And to sleep in ever lasting grace


I love you

Comes around in o’s.


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