Poem

Re: the vagabonds we meet in travel |It Was Nice Knowing You |

She was fascinated by

anybody’s ability

to capture a bewildering

emotion

in spoken or

written word

a systematic lyric

or a consuming melody

what a gift to decipher

what a joy to be

as precise as traveling light

and sound frequencies

gravitational pulls

that keep us

grounded

when we have

nothing left (walou*)

but the love

we must give

to another

under these

flickering street lights

a broken heart

hums to itself

trying to

keep it together

in gratitude

and out of

respect to

the air

that carries us apart

I wish you well

and many safe travels

ahead without me

we must go separately

just like how we came 

it was nice knowing you

Word Glossary: Walou (meaning nothing in Algerian Arabic dialect or Darija)

Poem Background: like many of my poems, although largely written in English, they feature both Algerian and French words to denote my multicultural memory. I speak these three languages, and although not all as strong as my English, of course using all possible Algerian mother tongues helps me express my three dimensional hybridity.

Image: A spice merchant at Jemaa el-Fnaa, Marrakech, Morocco.

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