Kuhl Leila (poem)

We are all tragic hearts
Lost in the desert night,
Broken from centuries of pain and I’m afraid there’s no cure.
Your loving can’t heal me,
But it’s a first step,
To feeling the way I deserve and the happiness I never found,
Not in the simple pleasures of shai or smelling your jasmine.

The movements in the ocean and glimmering of the stars
Beg me to return,
To the land of the cursed and the burned.
But I left with their matches
Before they could light me,
And the tears fell like waterfalls
When I saw it was my family, who held the flame,
To restore our name and reclaim drops of fame,
In the skies with angels, pools of champagne.
They swirled me lost and they lost me,
For I realized who they were:
Prosecutors of my love.
Saints for freedom but jailers of mine.

Shim el yasmine and pour its scent on my heart.
Rub it in my skin and soak it in my hair.
Because the nights that I need you are when I hurt the most.
And I need your naked on top of me,
To shield me from the ghouls of home
That terrorize when I’m alone.

Habibi, shim el yasmine
And the perfumes that pour from the holes of my heart
By the bullets of Israel, and of my father and my brother.
My own tears cannot forgive
The pain stolen from my mother’s eyes,
When I left the house in the dark of night.

The truth is that I’m scared
And only you can understand,
Because no other heart knows me like yours.
When I meet your parents, I’ll hug them with my hello,
Embracing our new world.
Slowly uncover me, falling into you.
Habibi, bidi iyak kuhl leila
Kuhl leila bidi iyak.


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