I wait for a curse,

a sad and final gunburst

before it’s time to leave.

There are figs

my mother gathered

for breakfast,


the sins of brothers

that weren’t sins before



on the walls

of Al-Jami al-Kabir,

where the girl I loved


sold carnations

in the quiet light; her hair

still sings. My absence


goes with deep regret:

the sunsets at Benghazi

I might never see


again, osban served

with lemon, my mother’s skin,

my father’s cigars


lying silently

among a pile of histories

to be forgotten.

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