forget the words

I keep pressing my fingers to the bruise,

feeling for the familiar reassurance

that it is still there,

still aches,

still blue.

 

What a curse

to love so much a soft thing

you squeeze it

till it bursts, till it

is red flesh and bleeding

in your hands.

 

There are seven ways we could

rewrite this.

Six of them are false, and

in the seventh

I step off the edge of the cliff

you carved out for me,

stood with hands open and waiting.

Decide it suicide

on the way down.

I suppose that’s why they call it falling.

 

Here I am, still, disappearing.

No crooked crown and yet

the mirror, mirror does not lie

about who is the fairest held up against the wall.

 

No wonder, she says,

the women go mad.

Too much love, not enough love.

How much is too much of a good thing,

how much is too much till the blessing goes bad?

Does it expire at the date stamped up against the jar –

I remember we sniffed it and

tried to remember what love smelled like in the first place.

 

What a curse

to be a soft thing you cannot love,

to squeeze yourself

till you burst, till you

are red flesh and bleeding

begging for someone

to gather you in their hands.

 

And there, the sea, and all its salt.

I’ll press my fingers to the foam

feeling for the familiar reassurance

that it is still there,

still aches,

still blue.


Rawa Majdi is a Palestinian-American performance poet, educator, and community organizer residing between Kuwait and the Chicago area. She is the co-founder of Kuwait Poets Society, a collective of poets who routinely create and curate poetry nights, readings, workshops, and open mics in Kuwait. She is the Fiction & Poetry Editor at Unootha, and her work has been published or is forthcoming in Jaffat El Aqlam, Banat Collective, and The Brown Orient.

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