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Breaking the Fall


In memory of my sister, Muna Imady (1962–2016)

They mourn you in Damascus,

as you speak to me over the phone.

You move beneath the wind,

and your words now

glow with the colours of your throne.

In your death

you have finally found

the voice that eluded you here –

Remind him

to lock his door,

always carry an umbrella,

never miss a class.

Accept less,

and yearn for more.

Take a bath daily,

and never forget

that he is the son I adore.

Tell him next month

it will be time to cut his hair,

his walls will need to be cleaned,

and his pillow will give birth to a prayer.

Someone will arrive suddenly,

a frame for his painting,

a sea for his shore.

And I will watch him become

the prince of my eyes,

over and beyond,

after and before.

And tell him,

tell him I know about the pain,

the expanding void,

the thrill a storm feels

when it turns against its rain.

Sometimes,

sometimes, my son, we must depart

to break the fall

of a spiralling heart.

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