To All The Boys
by Lameese Badr
To the first boy,
Thank you for showing me that being different was a virtue
For seeing beauty where others saw blades that cut too sharp
For letting me know that walls need to come down every now and then
But thank you for reminding me why I built those walls in the first place.
To the second boy,
Before you I never knew that words played no part
I never knew I could stop feeling the ground beneath my feet from
nothing more than a game of hide and seek our eyes used to play.
To the third boy,
You reminded me that words do in fact play a role
That nothing amounts to falling in love
with the way our minds exchanged thoughts
That letting loose had less to do undressing me
and more to do with the way sunlight crept on us each day reminding us that once again we have lost ourselves inside
each others’ minds all night using nothing but our voices,
devouring each detail that was described
and never once lost interest in what secrets we were yet to discover.
To the fourth boy,
You are a testimony that only a few things in life can taste as bitter
as a love unrequited
You showed me home was not an allusive refuge
It was hiding inside another heart and that safety was not just a myth
Until this day you are every unfinished poem I write
and every lump inside my throat.
Though you are not a man of God
I saw Him through you,
Bruised my knees when I lost myself in prayer each night
And ever since then life has been an ongoing conversation with God
so I can never have the right to label you as a regret
How can I when your mere existence is
a manifestation of every blessing I was denied before you?
And I can’t tell you I won’t live without you
I can’t lie and say that I need you
Instead I’ll tell you how I lost count
of all the hearts I had to break just to break the cycle of remembering you
how I can’t remember to forget you
and how I can’t forget that you are home.
To the fifth boy,
You said you needed more of me
That you needed to erase these question marks surrounding me
I wish I could help you with that
I wish I could explain that I’m
Better at loving you from a distance
That I can tell you I miss you in a hundred different ways but choke at those three words.
I’ll always be better at missing you than loving you
so run along
There is nothing for you to save here
Don’t tell me you need more of me when I can barely get a hold of myself
When I can barely catch a breath between running from and looking for home
When my own skin is not home anymore
When I’ve been everywhere and still belong nowhere
I have nothing but my mother’s eyes to prove that once upon a time I belonged to someone
Nothing but echoes of my brother’s words to prove that I used to be someone’s little girl
So run along
Your back is too weak to carry my weight.
And I did try
I tried to make every song about you
Tried to let every syllable be a testimony to all that you are,
all that I hoped you would be despite secretly knowing you’ll never amount to any of it
But you should’ve known I hung you on my wall of wounds the moment we met
That before we even spoke I already knew we were a bitter memory in the making
Couldn’t you tell by how my feet hit the ground that I walk too fast to have
my hands locked between someone else’s,
that if you try to catch up we’ll only stumble?
Didn’t you know that I belong too much to myself to have any left over for you?
Women like me walk with edges too rough to be softened by your caresses
It’ll take more than whispers of sweet nothings to calm the war inside
A little more than “I love you’s” to make up for lost time
You should’ve known the second we started prowling from one corner to the next
seeking momentary fixes
hoping we could lure them into permanence
Boy, did you think you would
squeeze the lonely out of me
if you held too tight?
Is that why you suffocated me?
To the man that will come along,
What do you know of longing?
What do you know of stares that pierce holes into beings?
What do you know of silences that tie an entire generation’s sadness and euphoria, mending them into the wall that is between you and I?
What do you know of tangible invisibilty?
What do you know of sealed lips holding back a thousand words and crippled legs distancing themselves from the magnet that is you?
Have you seen fire this close before?
Have you ever teased your finger with its heat?
Is the flicker enough to scare you away?
Do I scare you away?
You will look me in the eye and I will tell you how before you I never knew love
not even close
That love was the magazine they hand you while you’re waiting
The song you hear echoing through waiting rooms
You will prowl and find beauty in places others were scared to look for
Every wound in my body will become a map trail that you will follow
to find all the paradigms that exist within me
You will remind me of my name before it was lost
in an accent that can’t find a home in my tongue and
baptize my body from the fingers which drew lines
in places that were once holy to reclaim what has been yours a million lifetimes ago.
I was yours,
I am yours.
We will compose a symphony that lovers will dance to
The heartbroken will find healing in its notes
I will circle around your mysteries the way my people
circle the Holy House
and you will drink my essence the way Blood of Christ
is taken every sunday
We will enter heaven hand in hand
You will undress my mind and we’ll let our thoughts
make love in this oasis
You will devour my taste which will
become your sole addiction
In this moment we are infinite
Lover let us become the taboo we were destined to be
The epitome of sweet sin
For I have always been yours.