9 Years After July 2006 by Nadim El Choufi
My alarm too, ticks only on primes
Hanged dress shirts flutter to life
Only to lie in still stratum or stiffen
At the bonds of buttons veiling the traces
Of his passions on my skin.
Four bracelets take cover under the cuff of my wrist
Like my mother’s eyes underneath the haven of our dining table,
Watching the bombs drop trifling with the heat of July
As we lay thigh in thigh elated with the cool floor,
Scared to breathe the warmth above
Not knowing if it is their missiles or our own.
Book shelves, Olive trees, Father and the Sun
– That wasn’t enough – they slip through
My ring that shackles and twirls at the scent of my pulp,
As the threads bind at the refuge of untouched cold
Dancing in sprouts of knots to unravel the smallest kindles,
To survive its own luster and shine through the fabric
Of plaid blue shirts or checkered red skies.
Nadim El Choufi grew up between the UAE and Lebanon until the age of sixteen and now he studies in Los Angeles. Much of his writing is rooted in and examines Middle Eastern cultures and identities. He also talks, celebrates and writes about Middle Eastern art with the aim to place it on the forefront of the art scene and educate the world about Middle Eastern culture through our art. You can find him on tumblr and twitter. Illustration by Sophia.