It was a Friday like any other; the salty air resisted the rigidity of winter, picking up whatever survived of the humidity slain by December in its trail. The coastal town stood in a fixed point of reminiscence for the liveliness of their summer nights, or, in more honest terms, the money they brought. It may be that the plus-10,000 population of this rustic haven romanticise their existence by default, but if you’re fed cool breeze and crystal blue in place of bitter coffee and fume, there’s no escaping the theatrics.

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gravitating towards the door
i am what i choose,
i've been begging for 
since the first time 
i saw the sky
i'm a static mess
i want to coalesce 
with its meaning
.i want the door.
a long time ago
a few heavy sunsets ago
i was an emptiness

you riot,
does the pomegranate taste sweeter where you rest? 
is the relief palpable? 
are you breathing deeper?
you're still making choices
still becoming

summer child
june chose the deathbed
never had drier eyes
we had a few laughs
to lighten up all things inevitable
we're still making choices
still becoming

if heaven sits like a crown
upon the head of the firmament
how much wonder does it take 
how many choices still left
to reach it?


I hide in between my self-reassurances, my 4 AM pep talks; I make space between the I and can and sit cross-legged on the top floor, just above the I and will. When the nights are rough and the hideous Can’ts come out of the tucked edges of my bed sheets. I fold them neatly back in, and let out the knowledge that rests just below my eyelids that I was not created a half, that there is nothing missing, and that I am whole.

I pull the Don’t Worries over me and allow the It’s Okays to lull me to sleep.

8. // REEM

i wonder about the wooden rooms and the haunted hotels of baden-baden right now, for no reason, just a pointless thought, a travelling beau on the back of the mental asylum. i would hold his hand and never let go if he asks me to, bum bumming with him forever (3 years because after that i die).



It was a Nice Kitchen. Not to say that other kitchens weren’t nice, they were, they just weren’t quite as Nice as the Kitchen. All wooden counter tops, and lovely white cupboards, with little nooks and crannies, and filled with spices and shiny utensils, and a positively enormous refrigerator and large windows that let in the light with the prettiest view of the garden.

The ruler of the Kitchen was a woman, a kind, wonderful Deliverer that made great pea soup. Her name was Mother, and she had four unruly loud children. Of course, that might just be my point of view, and what am I but a poor pickle in a jar? Anyway, those boys were always everywhere, in the cookie jar, over the fruit basket, stuck in the Fridge… it was very dangerous in those days. The children are all grown up now, off to Soil knows where, where they are no doubt terrorizing the food community. Mother is also away, perhaps visiting another Kitchen, as she frequently did. How do you know all this, you ask? Hah! What a typical question a human would ask. You see, as befitting my status of a Preserved Vegetable, my jar occupied a very lofty position Up Top, on a shelf where I can see the entire Kitchen.

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You’re seeing her naked for the first time, her olive skin is shimmering through the florescent lights. Her hair filled with henna, you despise it but are blinded by the hardness in your pants and how black every strand it.

You want to shout the word God, the word that you’ve been exhaling every time you see something as beautiful but you can’t because this is everything you are not supposed to see and feel but she is there; she is yours now, you are the only one she has.

Raise your hand and Say “Allahu Akbar”:
You walk up to her while unbuckling your pants, she’s watching you, she’s shaking in fear but you don’t care so you feel her two and you are astonished because you’ve only felt like this once when your second cousin Khaled brought some magazines to the camp but their breasts were bigger, you want to be disappointed, you want to take her back to her father but you only cup her breasts and feel your hands beneath the hair standing up refusing to be yours.

Repeat “Allahu Akbar”:
It doesn’t matter, you think. In front of God and all his servants, today, the sheikh declared her yours.

Her skin will oblige by time.


you always ask me
to view the world
the same as you do
to put on your vision, 
and wear your senses,
because i wear you out,
and you tire of explaining.
i think it’s impossible.
not because of the
given fact i can’t extract
your eyeballs from
their sockets to use
as binoculars. 
but because when i
say exile, you,
consumed by the tear 
stained sensitivity,
think of people forced
out of homelands. when i
think of a liberating launch
toward and an unknown
elsewhere, open to
endless possibilities.