Balloons

Mostafa Ibrahim*

To know the strength of things, sometimes we need to break them.
To know we want some things, sometimes we need to lose them.
Craving certainty, how many friends did you call liars?
Attaining certainty, you lost your friends.
How many balloons did you burst inflating them beyond their limit?
Discovering that limit, you found regret.

I now know why I burst balloons:
I longed for something never-ending -
or with an end I'd never reach.
Walls that have my back.
Walls that will stay standing, even when I knock them down.
Something certain that, when tested, will not break.

*Mostafa Ibrahim

Born in 1986, Mostafa Ibrahim is considered one of Egypt's most exciting young poets and has been lauded by the country's two leading colloquial poets, Abdel-Rahman Al-Abnudi and the late Ahmed Fuad Negm.

His first collection of poems, Western Union, Haram, came out in January 2011 (just before the 'Arab Spring'). His second collection of poems, Manifesto (2013), sold out in less than six months. One of his poems about the martyrs of the revolution was adapted as a song and became very popular.