sung to the tune of a swooning 40’s love song:

harboring you…
appearances are…benevolent 
but you
are confined, mine

i saw you the other day
in a soft prison
you were asleep, you have slept the whole time
since i found you

grief must make one tired
eating energy to know
what matter will be made

in a burrow, so light, floating with the tide
cradled in white, dense pockets of fat sand
seeing that lump at the shore, you,

i could say
it’s the restrictions, the limits
of what we know
that make us who we are

but knowing that
you are eating from me
moving my way
captive, you see
what can i say
of kindness

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بحر

my love will arrive on shore
i will see them from far away
coming closer, and closer
after a long journey by the stars

– love poem to refugee

i had been learning arabic at my desk
slowly taking in letters thru an old brain
imagining you asleep in a boat
a dry mouth, no water to cry
as night transformed
my papers everywhere
i was irate

you are already there
the sun has itself on,
rosy-fingered, set upon a blue child
face down and so bloated
the way death can been done
sea sea sea
carrying you until you swallowed it
i failed!

“and now i feel no sign of you…
where once you were on my heart
at the moment of rising,
now you are strangely absent
and i miss your sickness”
– ancient poem, not about love

i am contaminated
likewise

you’ve found yourself
curiously in my thoughts

black water shaped around you
moving more than i thought you could
the tail gone, it looked like
you were human after all

search light on you
naked at the port
knocked about in a wave or two
never washing out

a circumstance becomes a happening
are you mine, refugee