One Man

One Man

Laala Kashef Algahta

It's easy to forget the dead
once time has passed. Moments
you thought would be engraved
in your memory erode, details
washed away. I forgot his eyes--

unlike any other I've seen,
light grey and blue. Beautiful eyes,
which cupped a spark at their core.
I don't know how I could forget
his eyes, or his laugh

and the way he held out his hand
when I would kiss him hello.

When I knew him, his face
was weathered. Old and wrinkled,
and as handsome as ever. A smile
splitting open his mouth,
languages spilling out

Arabic, English, Urdu, Persian.
One man, four tongues, which he passed
onto us. My two tongues split
in an effort to become four. They failed
and curled up in defeat.

Here's a picture of him
and the King, shaking hands,
but he was more noble
than any royal he met.

For half a second I forget
his eyes, but my smallest toe
still curls the way his did.