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6

TLOS Tour: St. Louis - July 17th, 2016 // Left Bank Books
photos are all mine - please do not take (without credit)
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| parts 1 and 2 |

Mama, you promised me - with pinkies and wallahi’s and everything in between
You promised me mama we’ll see tomorrow , hear the doves singing in the early morning
But all that has awoken me are the soundtracks of bombs hitting homes and bullets hitting children and everything in between.

Mama you promised me- with trust and comfort and everything in between
You promised me I would awake to inhale the aroma of pita bread and honey and lemon chai
But all I can smell is the putridity of burnt flesh and hazardous mustard gas and everything in between.

Ya mama, you whispered softly , back in Damascus
Ya mama , your voice hushed -
“Hayati, we will be safe. Their F17’s fly miles away, but the doves are flying now above our heads,”
And I desperately yearn to believe that, but it seems impossible when your sister is limp in your arms dead.

Mama you promised - yes you promised me
You promised me that we would one day live in peace
We would live amongst the living and cherish the warmth of the sun and everything in between
But like the Jordan River , like the Euphrates, my wound rapidly bleeds.

And like the pomegranates we ate- their juice we greedily drank
The red stains our clothes - stains from Baghdad to Aleppo to West Bank
And everything in between.

Ya mama , you apologized for the broken promises and the lies
When I was set out to retrieve za'atar and green olives, only to die.