I collect you,
like a deaf collects symphonies from haphazard silences,
like a fanatic hoarder collects wardrobes and dust specs alike.

I collect you,
To create collages from spaces
that condone your cruelty.
Perhaps I would condone my own.

In Beirut,
I found your cigarette ash
basking on cedar’s pinnacles
at noon.
political discourse and music
at night.

In Jerusalem,
I found your unearned glamor
strolling in markets;
patriotic, at ease
amidst spices and incenses that unite
for ghostly appearances
of your like.

In Cairo,
I spilt you in the Nile:
your humor and clamor intimidating.
Have I known you’d float on waves’ crescents
like moons travel in starless skies
and find me in Jbeil,
I would have spilt myself with you
and allowed us to sail
like Phoenicians would,
the breadth and depth of the Mediterranean
to feed on jokes and chaos,
on ornamented letters and murex dye.

As such,
I collect you and carry your inconvenience,
perhaps I can feel your love.