Literature The Fiction Issue

Poem: In memory of you

I can hear you speak, hear you tell a funny joke.
I can hear you speak, hear you tell a funny joke.  Shutterstock.

We do not have the words.

We do not own the words.

We seem to have lost our words.

We sat there, in a well lit room, with the morning spring sun shining through, and the birds

singing their morning songs, the trees and bushes dancing to the wind’s demands. 

We sat there, speechless.

The silence swallowing the room. 

All this silence, in memory of you.

Only our breaths, constant, echoing, bouncing off the walls, hoping they remain only as

constant breaths, and not gasps of air, holding back the oceans of tears about to flow, drowning

us in this well lit coffin, all this, in memory of you. 

Even now, in this very room, as I try to write these words, I had hoped to find words that would

rhyme. To make a song for you.  A song to remember you.

A song that would live on, and be sung from the highest of mountains, and deepest of blues,

and make those mountains yours, and in memory of you. 

Named after you. All for you. 

Our kindest friend. Our youthful, loving, funny friend.

I can hear you speak, hear you tell a funny joke. 

Hear you whisper it, and then shout it out. 

Hear us laugh, hear us sing, as if you were here. With us. Celebrating you. Not the memory of you.

Life does not pause, even though sometimes our hearts do, 

as we sat there, in the well lit room. Silent. Frozen. Paused. 

Everything around us, everyone around us, did not do the same. 

To think of your body, laying there, cold and white as snow. 

Then to think of everything else. In motion. Flowing. 

Unlike the blood through your veins. Failing to pump life back into you. 

Leaving us still. Static. Stale. Sulking and saving the memories of you.

How I wish to see you again. 

One last time, before your farewell. 

To appreciate you. To thank you for being you.

To hear myself utter your name, and watch your face process something back to say. 

To receive a reaction. One last conversation. 

I’m sorry for the times I couldn’t see you. 

For the times you asked me to be somewhere but I was too busy being somewhere else. 

Now, it seems a little too late. We haven’t the time. 

Because, as it seems, time waits for no one. 

It seems as if time toys with our minds. 

And although your time has come, time keeps ticking. 

On and on and on. Not stopping. Never stopping. 

Not even for the memory of you. 

I tell myself you’re in a better place now, or that your soul, is living another life now.

As if you are not lost. But found again. 

Living somewhere else. With someone else. 

Making new friends. Because you did that so well. 

I see you always smiling. Always happy. 

Just as you were, everyday we met.

I tell myself it’s okay, he’s making someone else feel better. They need him more than you do. 

How lucky they are, to no longer live, only in memory of you.

Raghdan Hassan is a 24-year-old architect and poet from Syria, who is currently living in the UAE.