A Crossing


If I were to cross into the unknown,

I would take the rain with its soft hands

caressing my head and nourishing my feet.

I would carry the rain on my shoulder,

the earth running bloody down the village path*.


cleansing furtive footsteps.

If I were to cross into the unknown,

I would take the noble mien of an Arabian

gallantly guarding secrets of a dignified soul.

I would lift up my hooves and strut on

shifting sands.


concealing a fearful heart.

I would grip the scarred fingers

of a calabash carver steadily urging etchings

onto the smoothed skinned gourd.

I would follow the ridges in the finished craft

understanding painful patience.


clenching tumultuous hands.

I would not forget the purple heron

reminding me what I see others may not,

nor the meadowlark’s call, a gift of the fields,

nor a sea gull’s longing for shore.


calling from the delirious dream.

If I were to cross into the unknown,

I would capture the afternoon moon

like a lambent treasure to hide deep in my pocket

and gently wrap you in the palm of my hand

possessing your silence.


circling the curve of your spine.


-Lesley Lababidi

*in making palm oil, the crushing of the red palm kernels stains everything red…hands, earth, clothing. When it rains, it looks like the earth and the trees are bleeding.


(all rights reserved, copyright 2003) To copy or re-produce photography and/or writings, written permission from Lesley Lababidi is required.

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