It was love at first sight
(Not true. You hated me when we first met)
Well, it was love at first sight,
for me at least.
It was more than just the way you looked,
though I couldn’t take my eyes off you.
It was more than how you were strong,
without ever being mean.
It was the French accent that showed
more than just in the way you speak.
You cursed at me in French
(and in Tamil and Cantonese, and other languages
you collected along the way)
Oh, how I loved to hear the words
that I never understood.
We fought brilliantly.
Our arguments were epic.
At times they were pointless, but I would pick a fight
just to hear you curse at me
We kissed under the sun.
We kissed under the moon.
We kissed under the starless sky.
We kissed under the bridge
as our boat cruised along the river Rhine.
We kissed behind the walls of the surau
when no one was watching
(it’ll be our little secret)
We kissed as we
You went off to fight a war that was never yours.
You went off to a land that was never ours.
We don’t even speak their language,
though in our prayers we mutter their words.
You went off to fight in a strange land because
that’s the only form of protest you believe in.
I stayed behind and heal perfect strangers because
that’s the only form of protest I believe in.
The news kept pouring in
Of children dying as they attended school
Of mothers who were no longer mothers, sisters
or even wives.
Of fires falling from the sky, claiming the land
in a supernova.
Of deaths that will never make sense.
But I’m thankful the news always came from you.
And I laughed when you cursed at them
in a language you just picked up.
Because when the news came from you,
I could always hope.
That you would come back to me.
And you did come back.
Flown in with full honors.
But you didn’t come back to me.
You returned to a place I can never reach.
At least, not yet. Not while I have
breath in my lungs.
And even though you hated me at first sight
(Not true. You fell for me faster than I did for you)
I can never hate you for giving your life
for something you believed in.
And so I say this, as I kiss all that’s left
of you for the last time
The words that I could never get right
Because I wanted you to say them to me,
Bonne nuit, mon amor.