long distance devastation

I lined my sullen eyes in black ink
and pressed a white leaf of ruled paper against my lids
hoping the sheet would make you feel closer
to my longing gaze and thinning lashes,
did the dewy golden shutters
gating the wide windows to my soul
appear on the paper you beheld?
could you see the faintest traces
of the ravenous need I have for you
in the stare you hopefully abstracted?
do you feel closer?

I filled in my lonesome lips with wet red marker
and kissed unmarked stationery with your address in the letterhead
hoping that my sound and breath
might come to you in the mail,
slip out through soulless rectangular envelopes
maybe if your mind is as lost as yours’ truly
you would be urged to place those lips
against the print of mine and maybe
you would feel the texture of my pout
or experience an exhalation stolen
from between your mouth ajar,
do you feel closer?

I dipped my hand in brown paint
and slapped my identity onto cheap construction paper
hoping that you could feel the warmth of my palms
and fit your fingers through each gap allotted to you,
perhaps a clink from ring-on-ring contact,
would appease your ears as well,
perhaps seeing yourself in my smudged life-line
would erase your fears of disrupted devotion,
do you feel closer?

I didn’t think so,
I have tried
everything
in hopes of shortening the distance,
scannings of my physical was the last pathetic attempt-
there’s no poetry left to be made
from this devastating distance


naira badawi

You always leave
and whenever you do,
I temporarily lose my mind.

After writing you
a canonical list
of the things
I love about you,
you had to leave
once again.

I admitted that sometimes
I would rather not see you
although, the sight of you
is more overwhelming
than your departure,
so I endure.

And I spend the days
in which you are not here,
counting the days left
until you come.

The distance
makes it impossible to function,
I have memorized
bus terminals and airports
I can recall their escalators,
counters, gates and grief
better than I can
my own name.

Just come,
at least then I can say
you were a tangible
distraction.

i held on despite the distance
and my resolve teetered off
the edge, swinging back and
forth as i patiently waited for
you to
rock me

i held on despite the distance,
turning into someone i do not
know, looking away from mirrors,
ignoring the sullen skin and
unbecoming shadowy eyes,
i stayed
because
i needed
you

i held on despite the distance
and the paradoxical loneliness;
not single yet totally alone, i
conjured up your eyes in my
mind and waited
for the day
that i could
kiss them
tangible

i held on despite the distance
and your blurrying image that
oftentimes needed refreshing
in my memory, growing
depressed, i began to forget
your features
so i waited
‘til i could
study them
again

i held on despite the distance
and the nights that stretched long
without you

i held on despite the
violent longing

i have been living
without a shadow
since the day
you said
those 3
words

it could not withstand
the distance
or survive in your
absence

so, my shadow,
starved of its
autonomy and
your scent,
fled and
followed you
instead

i miss you,
as i dangle my feet light-headed
floating on edges of concrete 
phalli that fucked the heavens
with their worldly manner, wet
knowing that their mission to
bury me under worn sidewalks
of despair, succeeded.

i miss you,
in a THC peppermint breeze
that attempted to replicate all
the sensations you had once
delivered before i archived them
in my memory, to be relived on
days when even the clouds 
could not cover the sight of
the densely robotic city

i miss you,
deprived of touches that pull
me from the realities i struggled
to ignore under paved skies of
urban misery, i saw your eyes
glint quietly and reflect onto
the surface of the Lake i would
never touch, i swam instead in
the deep seas of my longing

i miss you,
and my knowledge of your 
absence reigns over my resolve,
axed into jagged pieces to be 
dispersed throughout this un-
forgiving urban terrain; 

i miss you,
and my loneliness is sharpened
between the city crowds.

our poet’s lines about
hurried kisses sealed
in red envelopes
alluded to that day
you ran home
all by yourself,
while i sat on grass
alone, counting
the lovely bruises
left on my legs,
recollecting
irreligious pressure
applied to flesh
unworn in.

to tell you that
i miss you
would be an
awful lie,
i do not miss you,
i am unable to,
when you left
my senses died and
my mind went numb.
i cannot miss you,
because i cannot
feel
in your absence.

hold me close and do not let me stray
i’m absolutely crazy when you’re so far away
and if i ever hurt you, then i don’t deserve your name
for you’ve been my life forever
and i want you everyday

across the globe

seated as your passenger
windows rolled down
under a sultry midnight sky,
lit on fire by an orange moon
i told you about my globe,
that lies on the bookshelf atop Gibran,
with Africa always facing my bed,
I would squint without my glasses
and imagine your whereabouts
in the upper right-hand corner,
of that sandy yellow square,
were you a little higher up towards the Sea?
or a little lower towards the Nile?

i would get out of bed, ya habibi,
lethargic and restless
and run to you
with the tips my fingers,
through oceans and continents
and i would touch
where i predicted you’d be;
maybe on a rickety chair
sipping overly-honeyed black tea
or resting on the hood of a dented cop car
in Midan el Tahrir,
and i would touch your face
under that palm tree in Alexandria,
recollecting the dip
in your upper lip
and the beautymark
on your cheek.

i’d press my palm against your chest,
ever so tangible, and feel your beat
along with the rhythm of the Sea,
and my fingertips would dance
over that square, until i felt
like i’ve deluded myself enough
about your illusory presence

with my thumb, i would then
turn the globe to my location,
in my room, cursing the distance
and i’d try
to connect us
with the edge of my pinky
and the tip of my thumb,
but my hand could never stretch
that far

ldr problem #14

when you spend days recollecting every second of every moment you spent with him last time you were together.

ldr problem #12

The day after he departs, you’re back to your miserable reality.

ldr problems #11

When you literally can’t sleep a wink the night before he comes.

i abstract your fingers

i abstract your fingers,
thoughts fill me up, brimming
overflowing with fatigued lust
yet caffeinated days can serve
as no replacement
when airy “habibis
push me around; dazed
i trip over my obligations;
repetitive hazy moanings
from a yesterday we spent
under flickering lampposts
in the middle of a salty breeze;
obstruct my view of today
while beneath the veil lay my heart
exposed
for you to look at, grip, devour
yet your fingers still,
of deprivation speak
as my tommorrow
has your prints
on its every hour

ldr problems #10

When you stay up all night texting and neglect your school assignments. However, you feel no regret in the morning.

ldr problems #9

As crazy as this may sound; when you start to forget his features…