Jude ST


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.



“An inner look at life in the US as an international student struggling to assimilate.”

Jude ST is passionate about poetry and politics, enjoys good coffee, dogs, and Arabic rock. She is usually traveling around the States or the Middle East. She proudly calls Jordan her home, Palestine her homeland, and Egypt her dream.

Duende logo.png