TCE Poetry: Incomplete List of Items Left Behind

every scientific american edition between 1982 to 1988, translated to arabic. when my father was young and single, with one mouth to feed, he bought scientific american monthly. fuel cells, game theory, hydrogen cars, global warming, I read ferociously, poured over details of how to win at monopoly. while packing, I ask my father to tuck in my favorite editions. no room. we pile them in bags and find a street bookseller in downtown damascus. 500 syrian pounds for all of them. I ask, who do you think will read them? they are of no use to anyone, we will use them to wrap falafel sandwiches.

stereo system I play Nazel El-Sourour on repeat, I recite the words, knew the jokes were coming, laughed anyway. my father wrangles the stereo in one of the bags, it weighs above the limit. I reluctantly hand it to my upstairs neighbor, brag about the features, two cassette decks, you can make copies so easy now.

favorite wool sweater. our host in canada plainly said wool sweaters are not needed, with central heating, you will sweat, remember to layer.

Ba’d el Sentayn, my first cassette tape. Wael Kfoury croons a mawal, “in your love, I see life celebration and song / and I cannot promise you gold and palaces, but a warm place to sleep,” he stretches the words in places I didn’t imagine possible.  

brand new 32” TV. the day we lost all hope of a call from the canadian embassy, we replaced a 20-year-old TV with a brand new one. for our first year in canada, we were still making payments.