(not yet titled)
Do you remember the stars, Habibi?
I almost don’t anymore.
When I try to tell our daughter about them, I struggle.
They were like the flecks of dust or bonfire ash
dancing on updrafts,
the stars were fixed and anchored.
They were little holes in the heavens,
and sometimes on a clear night
after the cities all went dark,
you could see them twinkle.
My daughter brings me a handful of crisp,
pure stars one morning,
and she dissolves when I realize that is impossible.
We have nothing to fear but the clear blue sky.
We have nothing to fear but a false star in the azure.
Now and then sometimes I drift
half into wakefulness
and I see a single, brilliant point.
It dangles like a jewel
and somehow I know
somehow I know everything
revolves around it.
When it gutters like a candle,
I know that I am not needed.
When it flickers out entirely,
I am back with my daughter and my wife again.
Fatima is tending the storefront.
There is an extraordinary implication
between her red lips.
She passes it to me.
She dissolves when our daughter comes carrying the stars.
The point snaps into agonizing focus. It swallows the horizon.