this is where you belong,
habibti:
in the wreckage of a night
well-danced,
soles of your feet taut and aching,
pads rubbed down — eraser marks on paper.
you’d leave those cartoon footprints on white floors
if you knew of them. but for you,
white floors won’t do
unless they welcome splatters of colour. you live on
wooden splinters, cracked sidewalks,
dandelions with bent stems and broken leaves.
you are drunk
in the night; sipping on starlight,
shoes strewn by doorways
stripped from their paint,
fingerprints by the moldings
like growth marks, like
all the dawns you’ve spilled into.

“we constructed
a fantastical palace in the night,”
said giacometti in 1932,
but we are still building it
toothpick
by toothpick, delicate diffidence built into
our foundations, like the shades of seurat:
you are not one
distinctness. you are shades of eggshell
and notes of luqmat el qadi
melting on the back of your tongue:
taste how good it feels
to howl into the night
in a city not your own. it is everything
you will hold with you in the morning
along with your bad breath.

there is no knowing
all the echoes of a city, or a person.
that is why we live: to step closer
to the painting, note how the path
was constructed with pockmarks,
with colours we did not expect
to see on the road; to step away
and breathe magnificence
into the morning sounds
outside your window. you don’t see
how it makes sense,
you just trust it does.

misconstrue your exhaustion
willfully. every night.
as you swing open the palace doors
and find it inflamed with song,
overwhelmed by vibrance,
vibrate alongside.
intend to forever wake at dusk,
even if you lived the entire day.
we aim to pray our way into eternity:
hands clasped, wallets burning behind us,
running from sunlight and into fire.
there is no price for this, but we
would pay anything to be here,
spilling into dawn,
exhausted,
alive.

Photo credit: Tom Bricker on Flickr

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