Grandpa’s death — a meditation

On the morning of the last day,
he woke up and saw death
blocking the doorway.
They wrestled each other
to the bedroom floor,
where my frail, fearless grandfather
was eventually defeated,
in patch of sunlight
on the marble.

He left in a hurry, my grandpa,
taking nothing with him
and leaving behind no last words.
He had just enough breath left
to say goodbye
but no one was there.
We thought
that death would come
in the night,
like all the thieves do,
but death crawled in
in the morning
and we weren’t there.

Why I left home

It was an ordinary winter weekend in 2006. I was lying on my bed reading a novel when my mother screamed out to me. She was on the balcony, confronting a flying cockroach the size of a date.

She screamed to me to go help her kill or catch or whatever it is you do with a cockroach. But this was a flying cockroach.

While my mother distracted the cockroach for me to arrive, I updated my CV, applied for 12 jobs in Saudi Arabia, received an offer, packed a small bag, and was heading to the airport.

I bid her farewell at the door and never looked back.

You think I’m joking, but I started my career in the GCC to escape a flying cockroach.

Also, the only thing that could be worse than a flying cockroach is a flying cockroach that can talk. If it could also talk, that’s it. I’d kill myself.

Wallpaper — a meditation

In my grandmother’s house,
old and dark and dusty,
I would walk
the long corridor
with my eyes closed,
running my fingers
softly along the rough
wallpaper, like a needle
on a vinyl record,
and i swear to you
I could hear the sound
of my mother,
my aunts and uncles,
laughing as they played,
each in their own childhood,
before the dust came in
and the darkness settled
on the furniture.