[Interior] Maktab

— Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

To work like the dead
inside           the cool stone
of your small chamber
its walls a comfort against the cacophony
of silences outside, shroud of the page
a pilgrimage vestment
sanctuary of the possible in cities of certainty.

To live like the dead
relinquishing to the hungry earth
robes of skin           burden of flesh and its requisite fluids.
To let the rhizome of the self
return to its origin           reclaim the fibers
and fragrance of its name.

And like the dead
to fade into the oblivion of the living
your words a chain of wilting flowers
in spring, in summer
a harbinger of flames.


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