Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Arab Girl
She doesn’t read the Atlantic
nor does she orgasm.
She dances, sucking her belly toward her spine.
sway to the mumble of a lute,
descend the trellis of her
sweep bare feet.
Why do you prefer golden birds?
Have you seen the brown-necked raven
who builds home inside a bomb shelter ?
The laughing dove who nests in olive trees ?
I am given the name of an American cheerleader; I am fearfully made.
almond eyes & thighs
& rug-burned knees
I don’t know which I prefer
to be a child in my father’s house
or a servant in my husband’s
or liberated by a
carved from bone beautifulsacred
like an American in the street or some Mesopotamian desert
At midnight in the afternoon. The bird also sings.
Someday my name will sound like Olds.
Someday my name will sound like Plath.
Someday my name will sound like Abughattás,
in my father’s Spanish inflection.
created by God
coffee tea fuck
Jessica Abughattas is a Palestinian American poet from Los Angeles. Her poems appear in Heavy Feather Review, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Roanoke Review, and elsewhere. She is an MFA candidate at Antioch University and associate managing editor of Lunch Ticket.
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