the syrian sun

As Ali folded 23 years worth of life
into a torn duffel bag and left behind 
their house in Aleppo, their house with its
geraniums still drooping beneath
the medicine cabinet and the unforgiving
Syrian sun spilling from the caved-in ceiling,
his laugh died somewhere deep, somewhere
concave, where laughs are born.
When the bomb, 
when the crumbling home,
when the raucous, ear-splitting silence,
Ali’s laugh of diamonds and rivers and 
holy Aleppo sky, his laugh of his first lover
and his mother’s eyes,
tripped out of his mouth and into 
the open air of dust and phantom limbs 
and weak, hollow smiles.
—  we traveled the ocean for this | Ramna Safeer