Poem: For Young Arab Lovers*
Courtesy: #freebassel Foto: CC-BY-2.0 flickr/Paul Keller

For Young Arab (Spring) Lovers (2011)*

I spent the night reading letters of lovers behind bars, turned social media posts.

One woman was happy to know (for sure) her man was in prison, because she could still visit, because

they hadn’t disappeared or killed him (yet).

Another is waiting for news for the last five years and nothing, not even a postcard, a pair of socks, a sign of life.

(In the parallel universe,  where we live, you have 3G data, and I still beg you to turn the video camera on, because I haven’t seen your face for months)

Facebook wants to remind you that six years ago today you were in Damascus, holding your camera with a hope of a young mother clutching a new baby.

I don’t remember the last time we laughed from insideinside.

This is not how we were supposed to go.

Crowdfunding campaigns for death boat journeys to “help Iyad go from Homs to Germany” remind me what true love is.

*This title recalls and subverts the Western gaze

Jehan Bseiso 

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