“What is pain
but my whole world?”
She might have said,
throwing herself down,
with hands and arms askew
and eyes toward the heavens,
to her resting place next to me.
“I say it’s part of healing, perhaps.”

Dramatic insult escapes with her
every breath and she turns
onto her belly to beat the ground.
“Sick inside. My words end now.”
Collapses and contracts
several times, alluding all grace
attributed her form.
“Wretched foulness, ice.”
her last bellow.
I hear a snap–
a quick sound like tree limbs under a day’s snow
leaking in through the rooftop
and becoming ice on the
concrete floor,
her whole purpose.

But this was too much,
how could she melt?
Control such a loss?
A song her heart
refused to sing to herself–
whispered into the Atlantic
like dolphin bubbles
bursting between white teeth
and a love that was too sad to be.
At the bottom, in the Titanic,
her soul rested. Water seeped
into its seems and soaked
her dreams for humanity
until all the ink ran and the pages
were sodden forever
because water and books
are not friends.

She could not restrain.
All her perfect years of behavior,
the Persian expectations,
the regards for her sect,
her love, the patience and kindness, God–
nothing remained.
She could never live without
the poetry of her homeland
and wholly disappeared
into the crowd without a sound.

*Written with love and reverence for the novel Samarkand by Amin Maalouf