How night descends, enveloping us in its great sacred wings,
with the promise of a deeper silence than day dared to offer
Now, if only we can endure this tremendous stillness
we might still be restored to ourselves, once again
Tread lightly, cover the smiling mirrors and sullen screens
don’t let any spirit escape through the 1,001 trap doors
Listen, those are your own footsteps you hear approaching
Don’t look around, or move much, enemies of the holy hush
crouch nearby, ready to pounce. They want your attention
in pieces, smashed like a porcelain vase. The quiet majesty
of your mounting wholeness disturbs them more than anything else
Try, try with all your might, to make it last the night. As you tremble
and sweat, remember this triumph next time you forsake your oaths.
Yahia Lababidi, Egyptian-American, is the author of 6 books of poetry and prose. His forthcoming book, Where Epics Fail, has been endorsed by Richard Blanco, Obama’s inaugural poet, and will be published by Unbound, UK, in partnership with Penguin Random House.
Where Epics Fail: Aphorisms on Art, Morality and Spirit (You can pre-order Epics now.)
Works by Yahia Lababidi
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