You should see the way we carry our shame. Over cherry-rose tea and iced coffee, Vysh and I throw our wounds onto this scratched wooden table. She – postmarked from Sri Lanka. Me – postmarked from Palestine. We – immigrant to both the U.S and our home countries. But where do we belong? I ask her. Between my father’s shattered Palestinian history and her mother’s tongue speaking Tamil, a language lost to Vysh, we try to become unapologetic women – grow into the people we want to be. I crush an ice cube between my teeth pretend I’m breaking through a cultural barrier. We will find our own beauty despite living between two cultures two separate expectations that shout and shout and shout.
I was that orange firecracker that shot itself to the moon, then landed in the palms of your hands. It was the fourth of July. I was all body & breast. & you kept asking me to say something in Arabic but I couldn’t stop listening to the sound of your skull roaring through your skin.
when life becomes blurry cuddle with the nearest object, which is to say overindulge. so what if you’re the firewood I used to burn my obedience? I peeled 18 years off my skin Muslim girl & you popped me like those blueberry flavored boba pearls you always said you loved.
they want to whisk the lust from my lips, beat the alcohol from my stomach, teach me how to not desire other women how to rebuild gardens of shame in my body. Instead, I dug my nails into this broken culture, ran to the closest sparkler, then lit it with a hungry tongue. I carved my own scripture onto this stomach. nothing has ever felt holier.
-- Noor Hindi is a University of Akron student who is majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing. After graduation, she hopes to pursue her MFA in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Diode Poetry, Whiskey Island Magazine, Polaris Literary Magazine, and Allegheny Review. Hindi is also a poetry reader for Rubbertop Review. Check out her poetry blog at nervouspoodlepoetry.com.