by Halla Yagoub
Sometimes my soul is glow in the dark spider webs and sad splinters and yours is a Japanese garden and cherry blossom in the spring and your eyes are so brown.
Your eyes are so brown, I take off my jacket & shoes and put my ear to the ground to hear the answer to all the questions my mouth has ever asked.
I ask why the earth loves you still, when god stripped the brown he intended for her skin & gave it to you.
Why your mother never wondered why your eyes are so brown or why my hands cannot reach far enough down to hold the roots of this paper, origami world?
Why laughter and sorrow are buried deep within your belly and why joy is tied to ayour soul? Why pretty are words floating within your bones? Why your ribcage is a convict’s favorite holding place? And why are your eyes so brown?
I untangle myself from myself and detangle the earth from my hands. I build the sand into square miles and rectangles because I am lost at angles, angles; how the light hits your face and bathes your skin, how fire dances its way into the color of your eyes, how the sun sets your brown aflame, of the photographs I take of you. Of the pictures I paint of you, the songs & the poems I sing to you.
You’re the dust in my hair band the dirt on my palms. You come from the ground and grow into the beautiful garden that you are.
When do you bloom? Does your green ever turn pink like spring cherries? Do you ever go blue or yellow? Do you dream of blueberries?
When do your trees bear fruit? I like sticking my hands in the mud & I lost most of my dreams by the bank of the Nile the last time it flood.
What grows within you? I tried to grow flowers in my hair but the bees wouldn’t visit my strands and my curls weren’t home for their hives. My head was not a place where sweet things could thrive.
Do sunflowers grow in you? I want to be like the sun sometimes. I worship the sun most times on days the clouds swoon around and the rays lose their way to the moon.
Do you grow tea and coffee beans? Caffeine does not agree with my head, Wil you make my heart pound, the way it pounds with fear every time a strange man comes too close
Do you burn like the touch of sad men who claimed my body theirs to defile?
Will you burn my tongue like my mother burned my skin every time I told lies?
Does your taste linger in the mouth?
Will you stain my teeth like words that won’t come out
When do your trees shed their leaves? One time this boy said he didn’t like the color of my sins so I tried to scrub away the brown in my skin. I felt so naked then. Is that how your branches feel?
I was never one to pay attention to detail. I am scared of noticing things. I try not to indulge for the sake of indulgence,yet I indulge in this. I live in a garden where I plant roses of doubt and oblivion, I grow thorns & their vessels are my bones. My trees are high & mighty, growing in lines & circles, great walls within which despair blooms nightly. I am afraid you grow hope.
Where do you get your water?
See water is the source of life and Life is but an equation of hardship and strife and this heart has burned, hardened, a victim of arson, it can no longer grow gardens
I sit by the river and count the ripples my reflection has made. I imagine how strong the current is. I drink from the river instead of swim. I want to swim in it.
I lay down on the river bed; I lay down on flower beds. I sleep within this blue body while the tide pulls me apart and the earth welcomes me in. now tell me why? Why are your eyes so brown?