bloodline

moqawma

like scorching arab sun

coating blurred cornfields with heat

waves beat—

ing down on falaaha’s back

like dreams pounding inside

your chest against

your ribcage.

women who know strength once sucked struggle like caramel. flossed their teeth with patriarchy and combed their hair with sukoot. there is beauty in the history that courses through their blood. my blood. our blood. we soak in narrative until our fingers and toes wrinkle, absorbing names and stories like water. here in this circle of women empowered by the broken. by the hurting. for the healing. we speak in different tongues but the words seem to spill from the same mouth. the same pulsating energy. the same belief in beauty. 

do not tell me

that these legs are plastic

question-asking me if i

know

how broken

feels.

newton’s law of inertia states that an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced

—force

radio network

losing connection

right before you hear the chorus.

i filled the cracks

in my bones

with rosewater and revolution

believing purpose nurtures soul

the way april breeze

makes wind-chimes and

jirani

dance.

i am a long line of

women broken

i am a longer line of

women growing.

learning the hurting

is a part of healing

not disbelieving

in vulnerability as truth.

we sit by the round table now. scrawling on notebook paper the changes we wish to see. in ourselves or the people? my mother says the two are one. i often think of my mother and the rivers that make up her lineage. my lineage. our lineage. my sisters at the round table speak of oceans like bathwater. there is nothing we cannot do. there is nothing we cannot do. 

you ask me if i

can distinguish

personal from

political

for the sake of this conversation—

as though you do not know

that the personal

is

political.

where do you derive strength? where is your honeycomb? have you always felt this way? 

if i tell you

i have navigated sahaari 

to reach

oasis

would you believe in the plight

or trust in palm

—trees and hands.

if i tell you

that the nile

is but a basin of dumoo’

that the earth itself

has been awaiting

this moment

for years.

tell me how you could not believe in bloodline. tell me how you could not believe that the way is always

forward.

i share my prayer with the women at the round table. i tell them that i beg of art. of poetry. of silenced black history. do with us what spring does with the cherry trees. no, says one of them. do with us what spring does to the entire hemisphere.

 

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