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Bookshelf Lyrics


my father’s old books laid on an aging bookshelf
a refugee camp for sacred knowledge and dust
life story nested upon the shelves
before the dust
were different days
reading in a tent
forbidden books
behind bars for a demonstration
fleeing home
leaving pregnant wife
childhood life behind
how do you hide such hurt?
face calm and confident
eyes at ease then suddenly
watery when teaching
he transforms into the bookshelf
so I read between the wrinkle lines
between the eyes
as we hum in harmony
below a palm tree
Sabah Fakhry takes us
Above the palm tree
he sips his tea
and I drink the ink of his libraries
nod at noble simplicity
conversations in long silence
taught me to harmonize without a sound
drown the world
befriend the books
absorb wisdom
but remember
knowledge is in the chest
not in the lines of pages
how do you hide such hurt?
remembering thankfulness
with every inhalation
though every joint and memory creaks and aches
I read my autobiography in his hazel eyes
in aging hands kissed by my lips then
forehead thrice
“you are just like your father”
they tell me
yes, but my bookshelf is empty

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