Almond and Sugar

I've saved almond and sugar next to my grave, spread them if sand holds my body and not the sea. Let my origin know me for my branches, not my roots. Don't let my name give in to this recruit. Call me a witness. Call me a notion. Call me a waste of air, but don't call me a part of this society running in slow motion. Call me an ocean.

Because death is the only thing that will put me in a box and even then it won't trap my soul. I am anger in disguise; only at this instant I am alive, but soon I'll go back to the dead. This is not a will, this is a heart and lungs suspended by a thread. There's a land under the look and our hands are over shook with deals and compromise. Here's my body, it's worth living, not dying for. It's worth giving but not to a bloody floor. Save me; face me. Don't detain my thoughts to let yours break me.

Your music is faster than my heartbeat and your darkness so obvious it looks like the sun. There's more to life than this life, and there's more to death than a soldier with a gun. I've saved almond and sugar next to my grave, spread them for sweet dreams, and for those that lived in me.

Meena (Part III)

"Truth is, I'm not guiding my story to fight its way to ears that only hear a side of it, and I don't need to find mutual feelings between me and those who don't have any. I am only setting thoughts in the air, and I have many."

"There is a room in the middle of the city that I filled and made belong to me." He said with proud eyes.

That night when he found his lost entity, he had to bury it in covers and white sheets. His friend, Diya, drove him to his place.
"I've known Diya since the swings in my school's playground; only him could've eased my weight when I needed to stand my ground. He lives on a roof Downtown, with Badr, Darwish, Khader and Azhar."

Meena knew how that roof's wrinkles had ran it into the old, but it only meant that its warmth would take away all of his cold. It didn't feel like home, but it looked like it. It didn't have a closet, but it had a window with laces, where he organized his colored fabrics and stray pieces.

"Darwish is a refugee from Palestine. His home is as far as mine, but checkpoints make it further away. Badr is a good student with a medicine degree. His long black hair never turned his white spirit grey. Khader was a kid in my school but grew up to be a screw up and music was what he grew up to say; he writes symphonies that hides in notebooks and sings popular songs at busy nights where some men like to wear jewelry and leather tights. There is a casino by the sea that is known for its audience. It's our escape and our closet."
Azhar knew that. He guarded it every night to drive away the doubts. Policemen passed by every once in a while, sometimes to take someone home, other times to raid, threaten and criticize.

"Azhar is Darwich's twin brother. He was a soldier. As he got older, his brother left home and his father denied him until he joined his side of the fight. He was given order to arm his body, until he chose to free it."
Interrupted by a phone call that involved a "what's your name?" and "I'll call you later," Meena told me that he had to go. My last question was about his family, he said he hadn't seen them ever since he moved. He said life now is more of a song from his classics than a one from their blues.

"The streets know me well as a seller of love in spells. I have memories that didn't end well and those that ring my heart a bell whenever it's caught, but I sing hums to my skin to guide it around an object with a pulse. I don't feel love in red, roses, or in a lifetime of disguise. This is love to me, when your love is a lie."

Meena (Part II)

"Keep your prejudice in your pocket and wave goodbye with your empty hand."

In our second meeting, Meena was dressed in tight blacks, with a red scarf falling to his wrist. I had called him several times the week before to schedule the next interview, but he had had family issues and duties that stole his time. He offered me a cigarette as he lit his and sat on the chair in front of me. I welcomed him with clean lungs and open ears.
"I have said too many goodbyes this month to say hello again." He said smiling, then continued: "I ran away."
His family couldn't rely on their hopes for him anymore, and neither could he. They wanted the soon-to-be-husband with the decent job and manners; the one that pulls his family strings together and sings in that same rhythm. It became apparent that they didn't know him well, so he got out of their shell. He now lives in his own space; his own covers.

Perhaps it's the feminine hand movements or the sound in Meena's voice that made me see he took more from his mother than his father. However, when he mentioned her, his face drew the disappointment in him; as though all of his pride was shaken by her abandonment of him.
"It plays in my mind at least every night before sleep; how my mother turned away when my father asked me to leave."
He took off his golden bracelet and put it on the table between us.
"This is hers. All I'm left of her scent."

"Ironic is not their ignorance in my eyes or my life in theirs, it's the space within. I used to despise the air between their skin and mine. I used to worry with every breath I released that I'd spill my heart. I used to hate my secret, when love was all it was to me. Freedom is wellness for the ill or rebellion to the oppressed. It is paradise for lovers and warmth to a chest. Freedom is me, in its wildest form. Their limits are gone."