collection: spilled qahwa



This morning I woke up and found the snakeskin
of yesterday strewn about me.
This morning I woke up anew.

Mornings have always been favorites of mine,
I am blessed to be able to open my eyes
with amnesia
at whatever chaos the night before contained,
whatever I let myself believe in the dark.

I fall asleep and dream of she in the morning
she who wakes up with sunshine in her mouth
teeth bursting bright white sunbeams, I
make it a point to smile at myself in the mirror
because that she is me
and she’s one to smile at herself in the mirror.

This was always who I was.
The kind for
fresh starts and
new beginnings and
I have always been infatuated with evolution.

I make it routine to
close my eyes and drag my hands
over the masterpiece that I am.
I am creator looking for imperfections,
wounds left to lick, I am
prodding for
places left to heal
places left to patch
places where love can grow
like flowers in cracked city pavement.
I have always been in lust with change.

I make it routine to
peel layers back
till the core of who I am
is in image of the Earth herself,
magma hot and
untouchable. Unreachable.

I have always been bewitched with revolution.

People tell me that I’m different now,
they ask me where “all of this” came from,
where it was growing up
I tell them it was not.
It was yet to be.

People tell me I’ve got a temper,
but I shed that skin years ago
from my mind before my body, I am
still picking at the wound that blazed when I let it go.

People tell me I’m not one to keep a grudge
but that was when I let the world walk right over me.
I am a doormat that grew legs and feet.

Don’t expect me to accept it when you
expect me to be the same person you made up your mind that I am.
Don’t expect me to stay the same.

I am crystal in chrysalis, I am
phoenix set on fire, I am
half coal and yet half diamond, I am
the sculpture and the sculptor, I am
creator and creation, I am
both poet and the poem
I’m crossing lines to cross out lines
writing notes in margins
that end up whole verses themselves
re-reading, reciting, editing, I am
rising from the dust and clay -
Give me the space to.
This is not a request, it’s a demand of you. I demand to
capital B
full stop






I swear you’re made of flowers.
I swear if I cut you open,
inside you’d be chrysanthemums.
I swear you’ve got roses on your tongue.
I swear you’ve got daisies for ribs
and tulips instead of lips.
You have orchids where ears were.

And you’ve got me made of flowers too.
Yesterday, I found carnations in my collarbones
and baby’s breath between my fingers.
Took a look at my thighs
and to my surprise, found

You make me feel like Mother Nature herself,
like you awoke her inside of me
and now I’m raging with lust for the Earth.
I’ve got grass instead of hair, and
hibiscus for hips.
There are
morning glories in my morning coffee
and daffodils in my daydreams.

I was always one for florals,
but you’ve got me gazing at gardens now,
because there's something there that I recognize.
Because there’s something there that looks like my insides:
gardenias instead of gums,
lilac in my lungs,
stomach filled with butterflies.

I know we'll thrive together.
Our vines’ve already intertwined
and you say the thorns in my mind
don’t bother you.
I know we’ll grow like weeds do.

And when the precipitation comes, don’t worry about it, love.
We can always make a desert flower or two
and cacti always seemed to me like pretty growth.
And when the sun comes up,
we’ll bask in its glow.
Let the sunflowers in our chests
open wide with electric yellow.
We’ll bloom like roses after winter.
Shy in the light, a shade of red so bright
passerby’s eyes would go fuzzy
if they looked at us too long.
And the rain and snow will all seem like a fever dream
'cause we grew a love that’s evergreen.

text // rawa majdi
art // norah aljassar





I am woman.
Painted lips and painted eyes
but underneath my black Abay
is where I hide my fists.
Hidden hips and hidden thighs
but somehow I always apologize.
Somehow sorry is always on my lips.

I am done
making myself small
for you.
cause some days I wake up and I feel bursting at the seams,
I feel like fingertips and gums are leaking blood and dreams
I am lava, I’m a flame,
and then you put me out.

I am gold and I am glitter.
I am copper, I am silver.
I am hot metal, bloom of red.
I am not just some chick you force to bed.
I am not nothing until I’m wed.

I am woman.
Words loll around my skull and tongue,
breath somehow enters, leaves my lungs -
a galaxy of bruises on my wrists.
And constellations don’t look half the same
when they’re on skin instead of sky.
Put down your weapons, put down your masculine,
put up white flags, pick up your feminine.

This isn’t mental illness.
This is about putting value on innocence.
This is about blaming victims and how they dress.
This is about equivalence.

Listen to me. This is not an apology.
This is ocean deep, this is thirty
This is rage at being “just a She”.
This is rearranging my anatomy.
This is my confession
that I’m bigger than my body.

I am pure woman-ness.
I am chaotic, I’m a mess.
I am breath-y happiness.
and I am not your princess.

I am done plucking petals and asking them of my fate.
Hoping one or the other has him decide between love and hate.
He loves me, he loves me, I hope to God he loves me.
Why the hell does he love me not?
I’d rather leave that daisy to rot.

I am woman.
But when hair grows where the hair grows,
when I’m more hot blood and less red rose,
don’t chide me for my human-ness
and ask me why I’m pissed.
I am woman. 
I resist.


text/audio // rawa majdi
art // sarah farhoud