Sara Elkamel: Two Poems

Alfred Wallis, St. Ives, 1928. Source: tate.org.uk

[Architecture]

.

To build something together one last time

there are so many questions,

like who would live there,

and if no one, why build it?

.

In our panic we make a house

that looks like a boat,

which reminds me of dreaming

both of us were angels, sleeping at sea.

.

When we lay the boat down

in the cemetery of love,

we squat over one of its three windows,

and wave to ourselves through the glass.

 

 

Tablets I

after Dunya Mikhail

.

1

I wanted to write on love’s face

with a finger

so I went to the sea.

I found a girl and a black door—

We have to save the wind, said the girl.

Save the poet, said the door.

.

2

In the dream my love was a small house

in a big flood.

.

3

I didn’t sleep last night.

I lost you

and woke in another bed.

.

4

My love drowned and took my eyes.

Should I cry for my love

or cry for my eyes?

.

5

When the women run

their shadows

are the shadows of birds.

 

6

Your life is a garden of hours,

an hour inscribes sun’s smolder on your temple, an hour death—

but whose life isn’t?

.

7

Even at the sea, there is no water for me.

.

8

My love keeps forgetting he is an ocean.

Is the ocean my love,

or is my love an ocean?

.

9

When we leave

we take our terrors and terrors

cull light from the wind.

.

10

I found your name on night’s broad face.