Fi Yom Wi Leila

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Spare me this Arab love for dictators tonight.
Come closer, listen—Warda is singing,
Fi Yom Wi Leila. This day, this night, let us.
Push this talk of the land to the side. Spare me
this Arab love for conspiracy tonight. Lower your voice
to the sound of my pupils. Look at me. Let’s music
instead, let’s cigarette, let’s wine and laughter. Let’s call
friends. Remember how our mothers used to serve
cigarette packs on trays to their guests?
Fi Marlboro, fi Viceroy, fi Gitanes, they said.
Every house had them cigarette trays. Some nights, the politics
settled with the ashes, and the jokes came, the clapping,
the Allah Allah rising with the smoke, the dancing. Time tortures
everyone. Let’s heal a little. Ask me if I could ever
love again. Let’s exaggerate. Ask me if there will ever be
arms like mine. Warda is singing she’d been missing you
even before she’d met you. I missed you before I met you too.
And now, habibi, even more, even more.

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