I once was an islamic poet, presiding over my table at the cafe in Sudan,
drinking coffee sweetly scented with cardamom,
telling folktales…
Then was an Ethiopian expatriate, gathered with friends
at Dunkin Donuts in Central Square, debating politics
over styrofoam cups of cold coffee,
nibbling stale French crullers…
And throughout my journeys across this world,
I held the power of language close to my bosom,
my poet’s pen poised in the breast-pocket of my jalabiya…
and from my heart poured forth
my song:



I dreamed of you, my lover
each night, 
until you came 
to me.

Like halwa 
you were sweet to the taste,
like guava, like mango,
that I relished, so sweet
to me.

And still I craved more,
and tossed and turned 
in my sleep,
still called you again
to me.

So I will search for you 
to the ends of the Earth,
recreate you anew,
somehow bring you 
to me.

For this is what
the sweetness of
your love
to me.

So I have fasted
like a holy man
on Ramadan
and though I may break my fast
with a handful of dates,
I will not be satisfied
until I am one
with you.