Nora Byrne
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Words

Arts, Arabic, Adventures

كلمات البنت

Voices rise and fall in the heat.

Eat with your hands let rice fall to plastic sheets.

Voices rise and fall in the centre of the square stop, break see your breath pause in the crosshairs of the call to prayer.

In harmony and dissonance they complement, compete.

Wait on the sidelines self aware and sweaty necked. Wait with head high head up head turned wait in time wait defiant escape chin up with their eyes on you.

Hear voices rise and fall hear them stop, break remind yourself to breath.

Dig, mark pages, read with your hands, dig even if these pages of song seem made of stone. The ink wont seep into the skin it sits on fingertips and smears uncertainty over the days.

Twist, stand there’s still ink on your hands, voices rise and fall; stop, break.

Fall back to wailing back to harpstrings to souls that ache for lesser things. Fall back to the rise and fall to stop the ringing in your ears.

I fall back to the limits of language bind my tongue with Germanic precision. Cut words to the bone layered in image and sound. Building fragments on clauses yields to skeletal dances in a child’s tongue, tentative in the shallow waters of romance.

There’s the lilt in linda, quiero como rayo de sol. El sabor de alma, uno dulce, de flores amarillos, de la sampaguita, موتيا في ليل في نور القمر. Jugando en las letras, llámame con يا o con jota, no pasa nada. انجليزية،  at its most sonorous nada que ver con estas palabras, como canciones pequeñas.

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Lacking sound in our throats we construct soul from base tones upward, battle constraints with chords. We supplement our simple speech with strings, keys, with wind. Feel steel in your fingers dance note to note, these favors quiver and resonant in wooden bodies. We work in layers weaving the heights of resinous vibration with booming hides you may not need to but we've not enough speech to limit our expression.

I see hairpin vocals turn to calls that fill miles of sky. I hear voices dance on the wind lightly tone to tone words interlaced, twisting, زوجتين. Even my infant ears find words without equal.

I’ve bathed in cardamom but I’m bound to the ground layering sound upon sound. Yet in my limits I breath in petals stop short of spiders still under a waning moon I stay listening. I revel without words marvel with songs of brass and ivory and skin. 

Stay in the sun, حبيبي stay limitless, I will dig to the clay and coat myself in grime in the moonlight. See me from your heavens as I revel, marvel, as I dance in the sand. I can't speak wont weep I'm no child of the sky. They wont call me believer but I do not deny.

 

Sand shadow: Tasha Dempster | Lane girls: Martine Burtis