03 January 2012

You, woman of cloud and water

The kiss of you is tucked inside my closet.
A dark bag stretched thick with clothes,
most of them blue, and spilling over everywhere.

We used to have this fight and it would go
something like this. I wanted, and you wanted,
and in the end we both would lose.
I remember, still, you putting an envelope bloated
with twenty dollar bills under my door,
annotated for driving lessons.
And I remember the sudden change of heart
that sent us shopping instead—sometimes we could both win.
I find you everywhere. Your cells.
You were a city unto yourself, a scrolling ticker tape of motion
and dreams that pressed itself, unfurled,
against my walls until, spilling over, I was no less
a part of you than your lingering scent bubbles,
your scrawled notes and photographs, dog eared,
I find tucked everywhere, even beneath the sheets.
You were a masterpiece expanded, spread out
like the waters that took you as their own and left you
more than I could bear to see, to breathe, to know. 
It is my turn, now, to dress you. 
26 Dec 1956 - 3 Jan 2012


  1. Hi Khara, Wow I found it! This was the poem I was looking for. I heard it as you read it loud at church for your mom, it was touching, moving & so well written. I remember checking out your blog long time back when she had mentioned that you were a writer & poet etc. I myself like to do creative writing, poetry(small time) from a small age. I'm still learning. Hope you are doing well. Take care. Shanti

    1. Hi, Shanti, and thank you. I'm glad you were able to find the page again!

  2. Oh, Khara. This is breathtaking, heartbreaking. That title called to me, and I'm so glad. Just a gorgeous tribute to your beautiful mama...and all who feel strange in their own skin.

    I don't think it's any secret that I ADORE your work. ;)


  3. Just left a comment here. Did it disappear?

  4. Thank you, De! That means so much. (I had Blogger sent to "moderate" comments on posts older than 14 days, which is I guess why yours disappeared ... I suppose I should change that if I'm going to be linking to older posts!) :)

  5. My sweet Khara,

    I am so sorry for your loss. As you were saying earlier, there are no right words. There is an Arabic saying that goes “A chameleon does not leave one tree until he is sure of another.” I hold on to that saying in times like these.

    As for your poem, it speaks volumes of your relationship with your mother and your deep love of her. Breathtaking, heartbreaking and bare of all else that does not matter.


    1. Meena, you are a lamb. Thank you so much for your kind words.


Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

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