You Can’t

translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah

They will fall in the end, 
those who say you can’t. 
It’ll be age or boredom that overtakes them, 
or lack of imagination. 
Sooner or later, all leaves fall to the ground. 
You can be the last leaf. 
You can convince the universe 
that you pose no threat 
to the tree’s life. 

From You Can Be the Last Leaf (Milkweed Editions, 2022) by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat and Fady Joudah. Copyright © 2022 by Maya Abu Al-Hayyat and Fady Joudah. Reprinted with the permission of Fady Joudah.