by Yasmine Badaoui

Blackbird, RSPB.

Blackbird, RSPB.

sometimes we speak syllables with no meaning / in familiar arabic with one word i can convey the contents of the red sea / in native english my words slash the land carve the mountain in my awkward image / crumbles of truth pouring like umbrella girl offerings/ salt cauterizes my womb where life spurts like cleansing waters /

the war zone is where blue cables plug into black boxes / mass surveillance / mass survivors/ we never thought we'd turn out like this / hyphenated / atoms split thin between tectonic continents / displaced joints dismembered limbs all diasporic elbows & discarded ears / don't listen to the brown girls song it will break your heart /

i was named for sinbad's black bird / i know my rights so i remained silent/ the mines pained me grandfather's black lungs / pine trees gave me father's eyes / the vodka burned my throat the ways my lies did / my clock hands stick way past the mayflowers fleets of maps / colonizers declared me flat earth/ a tree with no roots/ maybe time is really running out

once my friend you and I were like dinosaurs / caged lights burning bright as supernovas / hell is a city under siege / heaven a place where water runs clean / you know how i love the lost and found / 

puzzle boxes mismatched & made in china/ jagged pieces of revolution abandoned where the sidewalk ends / lost buttons counted on coats / found cherry cores clogging courtyard fountains/ oldtimers coughing across aisles/ read my coffee cup / doesn't it look like simple brooms sweeping up the dust of us?

Yasmine Rukia is a no-normal radical thinking Muslim who dabbles in short stories. An Arabesque-American trying to explain the unexplainable, sometimes, always.