An Encounter

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I could never forget
That summer night
When we met
A chance meeting
With intellect
Sentiments
I couldn’t detect.

There we were
Him and me
Resembling
Jordan River, me
And the Dead Sea, he
Connecting
To some degree
Indifference sitting
In between
Ready to intervene.

He was the calmest wave
I’ve ever seen
Of all the seas
In the Middle East
An influential figure
Witty and clever
Handling it well
Holding it together.

Inside his soul
Stood marred walls
And avalanched falls
Bolted doors
And deserted shores
Washed-up cities
And blocked borders
Complicated countries
And denied entries.

I couldn’t have missed
Even if I wished
The undercurrents
And loopholes
Stirring in his core
Sentenced to parole
On the brink of war.

I wanted to know
Who his friends were
His number one foe
Every woe
He did not show
And so much more
Despite his unsettling stare
And the mystery floating
In London’s air.

I imagined in him a turbulent life
Of brow-raising actions
Captivating captions
Controversial in nature
Invading every shelf
News and paper
Entertaining viewers
Inspiring saviours
Provoking blamers
Multiplying haters.

I found in him a mind
Solemn and refined
Constructing creations
Housing passions
Confining reactions
Hiding confessions
Forming impressions
Suppressing emotions
Destined to inner tensions.

I saw in him
A grounded presence
A face chalked with lessons
Wrinkled from depression
And regretful vengeance
Laughing lines
And unspoken redemptions
Written in eyes
That disguise
What they imply.

Everything about this man
Seemed classified
No one was idealised
Not even demonised
Nothing was simplified
Or remotely personalized
My curiosity wasn’t satisfied.

As the hours rolled by
The night sun sped along
Hiding like a spy
Behind the sky
And when light was completely drawn
Darkness encroached upon
London became forlorn
It was no longer warm
We both caught on.

The night air blew a sigh
And our conversation grew dry
Out of the corner of my eye
I caught his smile
That had taken a while
To leave its political file
An earnest smile
Worth my while.

Bit by bit
Our words quit
They chose to sit
Then something broke
Our souls spoke
We both pondered
Quietly wondered
What God intended
Never comprehended
Why we met
What this meant
Never questioned
Where to next.

I could never forget
That summer night
When we met
A Godsend
Saved
And cemented
In my head.

If I could
I wouldn’t
Feel tormented
Every time
I remembered
His sad disposition
Our discontentment
When our encounter ended.

By Razan Abdul Majeed

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