Literature Nofel Poetry

Cloudy Dispatches

for Kasem

Last night I saw clouds turn into paper
Stars waning in your eyes’ unuttered anger.
How do we speak of love, my brother

When tongues are as stagnant as tears?
Remember the lonely tree of our childhood
The inodorous sand, the clouds that turned into cinder?

I try to forget my first memories of you:
The walls, the doodles on the walls, the head banging.
How do we speak of love, my brother

When no hand was carved on our hearts?
Oh! The teardrops you parched beneath the staircase.
What has become of them? Have they turned into cloud droplets yet?

In sadness you lean in for an embrace brief like a prayer
Detail, as though a statistician, the low probability
Of being born, and speak of love a little, my brother.

We ought to repel the anger bequeathed
Extend embraces with the longevity of hope
Bring down clouds’ dusty love letters
Speak of love for it’s our only fate, my brother.

Nofel (نوفل) is a Montréal based poet and essayist, writing in English and Arabic. His poetry and essays have most recently appeared in Canadian Notes and Queries, League of Canadian Poets, Mizna, Raseef 22, and Nizwa, among others. Nofel is currently learning French and simultaneously working on a poetry manuscript.