المشاركات

Butterfly Breathing

صورة
For my momma, for Stacy.


Inside the human body, is a gigantic butterfly. There, in every chest cavity is a breathing butterfly. A collapsible one. A fluttering butterfly.
When I was 6 or 7 years old, I found a butterfly that was approximately the size of my face. I was with my momma, in the lush gardens that covered half of the campus where she was teaching. The butterfly was larger than my much too much tiny palms. Already dead, I carried it home and placed it in a large and empty jar hoping it would breathe again. Hoping it's wings would flutter. I still remember the black fabric-like-to-the-touch-torso of the butterfly. I remember its belly, still and moquette-like. It did not awaken. It, sort of, crumbled and collapsed in the jar. Somehow, there is in my mind some memory of blackness on my fingers. From the butterfly torso?  I don’t know, but I know the jar, the patterned wings, my imagination of how it would awaken – resurrected – and breathe again to fly out of my smaller muc…

أرض الأحلام

صورة
كل سنة وإنتِ طيبة، كل سنة وإنتِ هنا، كل سنة وإنتِ حبيبتي يا ماجي، يا أجمل ماجي.
معرفش ليه بناخد وقت عشان نعّبر عن مشاعرنا تجاه الناس اللي بنحبهم، معرفش ليه في عيلتنا بالذات مش أسهل حاجة أقوم كده وأقول لحد فيكوا إني بحبكوا، لما بقول لتيتا بحس على طول إني عايزة أعيط وببقى عارفة إنها مش عارفة ترد. ساعات بيطلع منها I love you too, sweet baby وساعتها بعيط بجد.
وأنا بكتب لِك مش حاسة إنِك مش موجودة، مع إني عارفة إني بكرا هصحى ومش هعرف أكلمك وهيكون أول عيد ميلاد وإنتِ مش هنا، والحقيقة إني معرفش إنِت فين، بس بحس إن في حتت منِك موجودة، حتت كده متوزعة على الناس، حتت منِك في ذكرياتهم وحتت منِك في طلة مريم، في عينيها، وفي تقاسيم وش فريدة، في ضحكتها، في أيامنا سوا، حتت بنحاول نمسك فيها كده كويس عشان متختفيش مع الوقت.
إمبارح، فيس بوك العبيط قالي إنه عيد ميلاد ماجي السبت، 21، فاكرة لما كنِت بتهزري وتقولي أنا تور زي مبارك؟ وهيتلر والملكة ايليزابيث. يوم الجمعة قلت لتيتا بكل هدوء وإحنا قاعدين في الجنينة وهي بتشرب مشروبكوا المفضل، كابتشينو النادي، "بكرا عيد ميلاد ماجي" وهي قالت بنفس الهدوء
"…

Olga's Pool

صورة
Dearest Ms. O,
This is what one could call a goodbye letter. A letter that is not sent,  for many, many reasons.
I am writing to you in this formality because I think you would appreciate  the irony behind it. It might've made you laugh. I also think you would've  liked getting letters addressed to Ms. O.
I could tell you that I did not try to make you laugh earlier because I thought  it to be inappropriate but the truth is, I didn't think about it the past months.  I was too much consumed with myself.
When I knew earlier this week that you had left, all I could think of was that it  has happened as per the illocutionary force that you had been uttering so  nonchalantly for so long. It happened and then was announced to us in a  sentence, in a virtual void. It happened and it was just like that line from  Mrs. Dalloway:"Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." She did.
Perhaps, no one believed you Ms. O when you said you yourself would conjure  up the event for…

Softest Keys

صورة
I break the water.
The strokes relax me and make me feel strong. I think of my younger sister's back muscles moving and carrying her across the surface of the pool; they now move her boat through rivers. I remember my older sister's right arm muscles dancing perfectly as she swerves her racquet to catch the tiny ball, like a mole on the surface of the squash court.  I have no memory of moving my muscles for action; premeditated action.
I have no memory but this. My body breaking the water. This pool. For years and years.
I break the water and I wonder what broke my heart?
How can it be you I should ask but I have no answers and the questions fill the pool with movement like the memories that flash through my brain and the smell that I can't remember and the tingling of my finger tips on your hair all that fills the pool and the water moves ever so softly while I stretch my bare back and move across it breaking the water slowly and watching my arm go up in the most parallel o…