A    P O E M


Y A H I A    L A B A B I D I

We must not play with hearts
for who can calculate
what they are capable of,
or what they might become

How they slip, change shape
practice forgetfulness and purge,
surrendering pleasure with pain
as unsteady burdens of memory

Or how they grow wayward, wild
the wounded become wounding and,
in order to keep alive,
treacherous in the trenches

Until they are unrecognizable
to their owners, brokers or breakers
and what began as deception
proves to be a self-delusion

The heart has its treasons
that reason does not know—
why it must cheat, lie, even die
just to stand a chance at rebirth.


First Published in the collection of poems entitled Balancing Acts, which was at #1 on Amazon’s list of Hot New Releases in the Middle-Eastern Poetry category in March of 2016.

Yahia Lababidi is an Egyptian poet living in the United States. Balancing Acts is his third collection of poems to be published. Follow Yahia on Twitter: @yahialababidi

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