Let me go,

but always remind me that I came from dust and ashes.

No biblical references and metaphors,

I came from dust and ashes, bombs and ruins,

explosions and pollution

I came from a place of lies, cries, blood,

and a black sky.

Let me go to a colder place, I’ll be fine.

I will remember

water seeping from your ceilings

houses with no ceilings

houses with no people

people with no name.

Let me go, it’s okay, I’ll be fine,

and if not, I’ll try to remember your humiliation,

discrimination, corruption,

and theft.

I’ll remember constant fear, constant worry

broken glass, broken hearts.

I need to.

Let me go to a foreign land

with foreign language;

unknown people whose names I cannot pronounce,

people who don’t know what we’ve been through,

who don’t know why I walk around with half a heart and corrupted lungs. 

It’s okay, I’ll be fine.

I will talk behind your back about your unfairness, unjustness

to ease my pain of leaving you

only to find myself daydreaming about you.

I will tell them all of our secrets

they’re no longer ours anyway,

they’ve fallen naked,


for everyone to see

lost between other secrets and identical scandals, 

secrets belonging to wasted lovers you’ve inspired

until they realized they were invisible to you.

You stood tall and showcased your war wounds as a signal of triumph

turned your shelters into exhibition halls, 

played sounds of freedom and glorified odes to belonging.

Lullabies of a white winter, soft snow, and a lost child

sung by mothers and fathers,

sung to parents who were raised in war,

with a trembling child still trapped inside.

They hum themselves to sleep, protected by angels playing classical music

covering any remaining noise of echoing bombs.

Let me go, to a colder place

where I talk about you, from a distance.

You’ve always looked better

from a distance;

fair traits, softer skin, and a warmer heart.

Coiled threads of wonder, shining brightly from dusk till dawn

soft waves of blue, gently caressing your stones of karst 

bones of limestone;

voluptuous genes of reverence and awe.

Sun-kissed cheeks, fields of pomegranate and orange blossom trees

lavishing with damaged pride, generosity, and left-over resilience. 

See, they don’t know you as I do. 

I’ll make them fantasize about you,

pray for you, 

from a distance

while I stand in abandon and atheism,

shame and disappointment, 

in all the things you could’ve been. 


“you dream maker, 

you heartbreaker, 

wherever I’m going, you’re going my way.”1

Let me go 

as I am one of your many desperate lovers 

whose name you’ll easily forget 

whose traits you’ll easily retrace 

with new ones.


“let me go, I might choose to stay,

heartbroken by the comfort I found in your release.”

Heartbreak for heartbreak, I believed.

One day I’ll be back 

and we’ll be strangers in the night;

you’ll show me your bullet holes 

some old, some new

you’ll walk me through your newly built soulless streets

while I pretend I don’t remember

you falling to the ground,

with your arches and red bricks surrendering, 

covered with powdered glass, 

and wet blood. 

I’ll be back and we’ll be strangers in the night; 

you’ll show me your remaining scars 

and I’ll show you mine. 

We’ll make new secrets, new lies.

I’ll show you my shattered heart and tell you it’s because of someone else. 

You’ll look at my wrinkles and premature white hair

as you stand proud, 

as you always have, 

and apologetic

I would hope.


  1. Lyrics from Andy Williams, “Moon River.”

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