Self Portrait of a Bilingual Student
I’m drunk on Western alcohol,
But, my tongue still recites
passages of the Qura’an in my mother tongue
the morning after hunched over
my plastic blue trashcan.
I shorten my dress to fit in amidst
Sweat-reeking boys interested in the way
my accent would sound screaming
their name in pleasure.
I let their hands slither around my body,
from shoulders to waist, the same place
my black and white Palestinian scarf draped over
me at family gatherings.
I listen to English music. I wince when I no longer
find my mother language amongst the beat,
but I still contaminate
my voice, and yell out their sophisticated words,
forgetting my blood-stained ones.
Conversations Over Death
I want to peel the skin off my back
and rearrange my spine,
creating enough space to grow veiny,
blood-stained, blue transparent wings.
To fly over rotting flesh-imprisoned souls
and soul-imprisoned in functioning flesh.
Surpassing the seven skies,
I want to chug enough of this grape vine’s blood
till I’m near dead-drunk with Azrael,
just enough get a tour Purgatory.
Maybe then I can understand why
a whole nation deserved to be bombed to the ground,
while I sit here pursuing my polished foreign
Here I sit, with manicured nails,
on a table filled with friends and food,
wondering why my body is valued
over the thousands decomposing in Syria.