Zeina Azzam

May 22, 2023 Azzam Zeina



Comets “leave behind a dusty trail of rocks and ice that lingers in space long
after they leave.” –The New York Times


You once filled my night sky.
Now, through the trees at moonlight
I search for your green-gray eyes
in faraway ice crystals,
your white hair in the comet’s tail.


And these rocks on my path
chipped with stars of mica and quartz—
were they left over from your journey
through the solar system?
Shards from constellations you helped create?


I keep looking for you in them, everywhere.
In your trail between planets and asteroids,
the opaque cumulus clouds on a bright day.


Then at night I climb Orion’s Belt,
travel below the horizon to the southern sky
and back.


I wake and remember
that you escaped into incandescence.
My memories have become your last breath,
rocks, ice, stardust.

Zeina Azzam is a Palestinian American poet, writer, editor, and community activist. She is the poet laureate of the City of Alexandria, Virginia, for 2022-25. Her poetry collection, Some Things Never Leave You, will be released by Tiger Bark Press in July 2023. Zeina’s chapbook, Bayna Bayna, In-Between, was published in 2021 by The Poetry Box and her poems appear in Pleiades, Mizna, Barzakh, Passager, Gyroscope, Cutleaf Journal, Streetlight Magazine, Bettering American Poetry, Making Mirrors: Writing/Righting by and for RefugeesMaking Levantine Cuisine: Modern Foodways of the Eastern Mediterranean, Gaza Unsilenced, and elsewhereShe holds an M.A. in Arabic literature from Georgetown University and an M.A. in sociology from George Mason University.  www.zeinaazzam.com