The Significance of the Unmade Bed
by Christine Aziz
A journey begun makes outcasts
of the prepared; a sealed envelope broken into,
covers untucked , discarded,
the disorder of sleep and lust.
We are adrift on this altar of broken slats,
sagging foam, dipping like a pot holed road,
a gradient that slides our sleep.
The headboard, an ugly tombstone,
rattles to our oblivion, drums against the wall,
Afterwards, in furrows, we find crumbs and search
for love’s lost trinkets; an earring, a tiny Fatima’s hand
points to stains of darkening continents,
a long, dark hair curling - a river discovering itself,
In the microbus, along the Corniche,
Where waves mount concrete,
I sense the bed in mourning,
imprints of our limbs fading,
a fallow field awaiting spring.
Beyond its borders we are lost, untangled.
The day shortens like a burning cigarette.
We turn back to what has started:
an opened letter, hardly read.
by Christine Aziz
A room spillfull of twilight.
I study Arabic.
Verbs, roots, conjugations.
Yeraf. Ye’eesh. Yesadda’
To know. To live. To believe.
You replay yesterday. Alexandria.
Sound of bullets. Women screaming.
Ye’tel. Yekhon. Yesakkat.
To kill. To betray. To oppress.
Silence returns. I drink tea.
You bury your head.
Yeheb. Yefham. Yeazzi.
To love. To leave. To mourn.
Eleven floors above the city.
The dead float past the window.
Flocks of birds. Migrating.
Yehlam. Yetmanna. Yeteer.
To dream. To hope. To fly.
In her own words:
An enthusiastic wordwhore and bookbitch. As a former hack I focused on humanitarian issues in conflict areas, particularly as they affect women. Winning a major literary prize in the UK for my first novel, The Olive Readers, magicked me into the wonderful world of fiction. Am now wondering which of the two novels I'm working on deserves my full attention. A new play runs alongside the prose and a poem pops up every now and then. I was, until recently, visiting tutor in creative writing at the Arts University, Bournemouth, UK. My courses and workshops run on the premise that not any word will do.