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You are Algerian.
You know betrayal closely
carry its open skies on your skin.

As a child, your father told you
that if you repeat a word several times
it loses its meaning
its gravity
so you’ve never been told ‘you are worth it’

On your sixteenth birthday
you decided that your body
couldn’t hold your secrets
you open up, let strangers
lick the untold stories out of your hands.
But light, also attracts predators.

Your mother makes you walk
because your feet are the only thing
you can stand on, even though
they don’t know the direction yet.

You smile
You show your white innocent teeth
and it is scary because you
were supposed to be guilty.

You are a flower in a graveyard
watching the dead , until, you too
are dead.

And I won’t pray, because I don’t know how to, but
God bless the day you drank enough to believe
that you are worth it.

 

[ Picture by Ibn Ibn Battuta ]

Thilleli G.

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Sayed Bakry Street

Came across your name between lines

Girl, you even made it to headlines

To the world you gave your middle finger

The rebel you, made my heart weaker

I didn’t want to hear about you

I wanted to hear from you

I said “hi ,

You’re so fly”

And even if your friend said it was early

You texted back directly

We met and had Om ali

Kind of pudding in Araby

I didn’t care about the cost

We got into Tuk-Tuks and got lost

Far from my any other

Like a church father

You saw me cry

Late at night

Saw me smile

from rooftops height

saw me scared

saw me understand

that all this time

you weren’t next to me

but in fact

you gave me space

and let me be

what I was meant to be

 

( To Cairo, with love)

Thilleli G

To tell God about his creation

God,

it is arrogant, I know

but I already found

heaven.

Come close

and let me tell you

about the one

gathering my broken pieces.

a golden virgin

cracking her hips

of stone

to carry blue men.

a golden virgin

kneeling under

purple skies

and unfaithful clouds.

a golden virgin

destroying time

and other

dimensions.

a golden virgin

to whom I’m nothing

everything,

truly myself.

And to be truly

yourself

is a drop

of heaven.

 

( Photo taken by Amine Kouider )

Thilleli G.

Geography of Paradox

November was crual,
I fell in love,
but loving you is like going to war,
I lost myself.

In the hyphenated land
of Mohammad Al Amin
and St. George,
I lost myself.

In her arms,
mistress of the east,
mistress of the west,
I lost myself.

In the unbearable beauty of
your heavenly streets
and your highways to hell
I lost myself.

[ To Beirut, with love ]

Thilleli G.

Ya 9asba Ya 9asba

El Djama3,
El me3bad,
El knissa,
hadek echi makench mohim,
elli kan yaham
howa 7eb ellah
fi wast eddar
fi ellemsa nte3 el 3oud,
fi 7ebat el baqlawa,
li djay m3a zgharid ensa,
w ri7at edokhane
fi yed echikh baba
akid tol 7yati nechfa,
ya 9asba ya 9asba
ghir nti li ta3arfi le7kaya

Thilleli G.

Our house, is your house.

Placating my soul,
with the last cohiba,
I climb the stairs,
to see Saint Mary,
although dead,
she still sees right,
and says,
hate is a burden,
forgive the one that went wrong,
and open your heart, again,
till it explodes, again,
make some room,
for the light to enter.
She also said something else,
but I didn’t hear,
gave her a kiss on the head,
and sucked up my fear,
you passed right next to me,
and you dropped a flower,
I ran,
put my hand on your shoulder,
and you looked over with a smile,
it just reminded me that I’m alive.
Days after days,
I called you ‘home’,
I felt safe,
waiting for the winter to come,
We were in love,
blindly, as they say, but
you could see the wound on my hand,
so you showed me the path,
to the arab bath.
Girona, you are more beautiful than
I can accept.

Thilleli G.

God’s architect

I heard that you started dating a guy,
a bearded one who speaks catalan,
he tells you about faith,
and it makes your heart melt,
he held your hand and stood,
you followed and gave a look,
you got it, he’s God’s architect,
making the edges look perfect,
he showed you his story,
about nativity, passion and glory,
he drew the walls as a jungle,
in the middle, Jesus’ struggle,
above the savior,
a golden halo for the creator,
then he did something awesome,
a tower for each apostle,
but they were more then eight,
so the sun went and it got late,
not to make you mama angry,
you said you are in a hurry,
he knew a way by the Rambla,
a sweet little taste of Barcelona.

 

Thilleli G.

white is a beautiful color

You’ve been hurt and had to man up,
like any girl who wants to grow up.
You don’t trust men, you don’t let them explain,
but between heaven and hell, we’ll meet again.
You keep treating me harshly,
but I love you blindly.
There is a party at the beach,
Maybe we can share our tortured speech,
Can I offer you a drink ?
In this glass, let your beauty sink,
I am not gonna lie, I saw Paris and Bangkok,
But tonight, it is to you that I want to talk,
pretty white dress on your thighs,
matches the fire in your eyes.
Hold on, you have to go home, it’s midnight,
run and join the other sweet knight.
Sometimes I feel that I know you,
the childhood memories that you drew,
Some things I can’t forget,
some things I like the older I get.
and suddenly everything seems strange,
this melody that you endlessly rearrange,
as the sky starts crying,
God’s call starts rising.
When the silence falls back,
you are all in black,
trying to reach the horizon,
trying to find a reason.
Then you turn around and there is a smile on your face,
that takes me from place to place,
I can smell the orange trees,
the tea and the shades that freeze.
a prose is written on my hand
“Algiers, forever my friend”.

Thilleli G.