Al Neel Waltz

Half her face was paralyzed
in a blinding joy
the other half
in a crushing sorrow
that started from within her shattered iris
that left a trail of fissures along
her jawline
to her collar bone
that flowered into a Byzantine design
across her chest
that reached till her soles
so she grew anchors
so she could anchor herself
in desolate silence

stood at the banks
her hands clasped tightly
clasped to her breast
and he asked her
what do you hold so closely
she looks down
and says
so that I could keep
the broken
and chipped
pieces of me
and he unbinds his 3ima
ties it around her chest
kisses her clenched fists
draws her into his embrace

She asks
what more is there to do
after you lose faith
And he cups her splintered cheek


‘Waltz with me’

And they waltzed
From Nemolee to Juba
Juba to Malakaal
Malakaal to Kosty
Kosty to Khartoum
Waltzed fy shari3 al neel amongst sitaat al shai
To Shandi then Barbar
& from Barbar to Abu Hamad
Abu Hamad to Dongola
Dongola to Akasha
Held her closer in Wadi-Halfa

His jalabeya
created complementing half arches to her own skirts
furling and unfurling
with half agony and half hope
she was the type
that could never read through a story
finish the first chapter and skip to the ending

she pleads

Just tell me how it all ends

She asks
Where is he
Near and Somewhere
Whats wrong with me
Everything and Nothing
Will I find happiness
Never and Always

And from her shattered iris an inconsolable tear rolls

‘Will I always be tired’

And here he lifts her up
Traces her chinks with a salty kiss
Tells her
You were never broken
Just cracked
So your light can dazzle
from Within
And his cradle disintegrates to
Leave her encompassed in a watery embrace
left to waltz with the currents and tides
Waltzed whilst it pulled her left to right
and center and sides
Waltzed from turmoil
to elation
then an ebbing sigh

Waltzed with Al Neel
Till her soul
could reside