for May Ziade*
My book collection has outgrown my shelves,
and I think that is as it should be, and now
my daughter’s has done the same. She is five.
She makes the sound of a new word, then turns
with a smile because she has pieced it together
right. It is afternoon with the sun intruding
through slatted blinds, but we are the brightest
lights here. That giant star, that would love to
swallow us one day, needs my pride, needs
my daughter’s victory to feed its boiling energy.
We are two moons who pull the tides of pages.
We are solid rock, rotating and revolving, evolving
too. Stand on your shore, and you will surely see
the waters disappear. Walk the sands for miles.
*May Ziade (1886-1941; Palestine): columnist, poet (Fleurs de rêve), essayist, novelist (Al Bahithat el-Badiya), translator, orator, critic, biographer (of Warda al-Yaziji, A’isha Taymur, and Bahithat al-Badiya)