Plaza Voices: Requiem

Our regular contributor Naghem S. shares this poem:


I am a hoarder of boxes. They hold my memories of you, the ones that keep slipping away. 

I remember your smell, the heat of your embrace.
Scorching heat that infiltrated my every pore, branding my skin with you.
I remember running barefoot and the hot coals of your touch burning my feet.
I ran so fast that the heat was nothing but a sting, a lover’s passionate kiss.

I remember the hugs from the grandfather buried deep within you. 
His arms, both loving and tough, held me together as I cried for the father I never knew.
I remember the innocent pure love I held for you. 
Days. Months. Years. You and I were one.

I remember goodbye. Tears flooding my face.
Countless hugs, kisses, sobs, never wanting to let go but the hands of fate pulling us apart.
I remember my heart. Once cracked now shattered leaving everyone and YOU  behind. 
I left you without a choice, without knowing your worth. Not knowing if I would ever be back. 

I remember leaving you, replacing you. Turning my world upside down and inside out.
Poison and honey. Maybe poisoned honey. 
I remember finding the father I never knew. He was with the new.
He was the home that never forgot me, much like you.

I remember his hugs. They started to stitch the heart he broke.
His laugh healed the hurt. His smell filled my every sense, leaving me breathless, wanting more.
I remember my father, my mother, brother, sisters.
The family that once existed in stolen dreams and whispered wishes was born. 

I remember you. You never left me, even when I wanted you to.
Your hurt, your pain, your blood and the gut-wrenching screams. The smell of burning flesh.
I remember your mothers whose sons never came back. Their cries that haunt the wind. Still.
You never left me even when I wanted you to. I tried to forget. 

I remember fighting for you, defending you.
Traitor is what they called me, call me, because I longed for you. Long for you still
I long for your sun to burn me again. To warm the bitterness that stitched the broken pieces.
I long for your touch, your tragedies, your stolen histories. I long to touch.

We are worlds apart, for you were... are...will be 
Free, unattainable, wild
And mine
But not mine. 

To read more poetry about the immigrant experience, check out these books from the Denver Public Library.

Plazas are an open community space where migrants from all over the world connect with people, information, and resources, building Denver’s global community. Come to practice a language, prepare for citizenship, pursue your goals, and create your future. Whatever you’re doing, we can help! Please see our web page for more information.

Written by Plaza Voices on March 14, 2019