Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Aziza

Always smells of spotlessness,
soap
(jasmine-flavoured);
Skin,
sagging, yet smooth;
Skin-tone,
snowy,
something in that glow making me think of cold nights,
(the cozy kind)
snuggles at early hours among stainless sheets.

Seldom do you see that,
so silent, but the
sensation of their presence,
so...strong.
She may not say much, but
she's our bed-rock,
starting-point,
seed and stem.

Soothing it is,
your serenity
(it hit me most that day at the ICU)
sitting in all your splendour
self-composure in a room of chaos
slight smile

Steady,
unshaken,
(it may have been many years since
you made even snakes
slither away, but)
sheltered is our place for you
spoken in your name
Aziza, treasured one,
forever our sovereign. 


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Innocence

A bright sun enveloped the town, warming brick-walls, front-door-handles, car and bike bodies, and the spotless black roads. It was an afternoon: that undecided time of the day when it was acceptable for adults to laze around and children had to look for something useful to do themselves.

I watched Suha and Sama crouched low in the back-seat of an unlocked Corolla. Two pre-teens, partners in crime. They were no longer conveniently-sized and had to do with uncomfortable squatting. Suha looked on as Sama counted the crushed strawberries in a pile of soggy tissues with a delicate and muddy index finger. She watched and fingered her dark curls casually but I could hear a pounding heart, with beats trying to give voice to pleas.

'Three would be a good enough sample size,' Sama had finished counting and was fishing out what were now red blobs at random.
Suha dutifully received them and almost instantly popped them in her mouth, swallowing in a hasty gulp.

'Not poisonous!', she gasped, massaging her throat. 
There was a still moment then where the two girls looked at each blankly. I waited, attempting to make out their expressions in vain. It was so quiet in that car that the only things audible were Suha's (enlarged) heart's beat and the bouncing of air molecules.

It was a while before Sama moved- to start eating the remainder of the strawberry collection, Suha following in pursuit. When they were done, they scrambled out of the car, closed the doors as gently as they were capable, and peered back inside.

Red was smeared all over the soft grey seats.
'Now look what you've done,' a tiny Sama turned to a much taller and larger Suha. 'They'll be suspecting a murder of course, and your fingerprints are all over it.' She said this like she was discussing breakfast as she skipped back towards home on the pavement, leaving a much more rapidly-beating heart behind.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Dozes of craziness

You need to have a hint of insanity in your life if you plan on surviving. If you don't know anybody who can help you provide this, you need to get introduced to my mom. It's almost midnight, and 3aboody (pet-name for our Nissan X-trail) is carrying us back home. He's at the mercy of one of my mother's kookiest moods yet, the contagiousness of which can compete with a malaria parasite. She's perched in the driver's seat, singing made-up non-sense rhymes on the spot, and a clutter of compressed arms and legs and aching tummies echoes them from the back. When we reach the deserted road behind our building, we know its time to hold on to anything and shriek as 3aboody is sharply steered zig-zag towards a parking spot. We bustle out of the car, and wait, panting. She calmly switches off the head-lights, turns the key and comes out, closing the door behind her. She smiles at us. We look at her for fresh inspiration, still out-of-breath. She takes hold of one of our hands, and we make a train. We're already laughing uncontrollably again. 3aboody sits there cowering as we circulate our train around him, gathering speed. When I glance at the sky, a full moon looks down at us wearing a sneer. 'What are you looking at?' I want to say. Who decided it's not perfectly normal for a bunch of people to run around their car in the middle of the night because they feel like it? It makes perfect sense to me!

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'Mama,' comes an adult squeak from the sofa. Oh boy, there she goes again. I get up to 'pet' my sister-  who is pretending to be a baby, one of her favourite activities. She kicks her arms and legs in perfect imitation. I have to awkwardly hold her down and shush her to sleep. Meanwhile, Dad working on his laptop without as much as a glance at us, mom sorting through the laundry....everyone is so used to this that life goes on as normal.

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Craziness is universal and doesn't only run in my family. We're at university and have an hour to burn before our lecture begins. For some reason, we decide the best place to be is at the basement parking. Where the professors and tutors park their cars. 'One, two, three!' We set off, racing in the parking lot, our abayas flying out behind us like Batman costumes. At some point, we stop running because we need to double-up. We're all laughing so much that we can't hear any laughter.

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