Mohja Kahf Poems

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Hijab Scene 7

No, I'm not bald under the scarf
No, I'm not from that country
where women can't drive cars

Hijab Scene 2

"You people have such restrictive dress for women,"
she said, hobbling away in three inch heels and panty hose
to finish out another pink-collar temp pool day.

Hijab Scene 1

You dress strange," said a tenth-grade boy with bright blue hair
to the new Muslim girl with the headscard in homeroom,
his tongue-rings clicking on the "tr" in "strange".

My grandmother puts her feet in the sink
of the bathroom at Sears
to wash them in the ritual washing for prayer,

The Fallen Protester's Song

These last few days were the most beautiful
I ever lived, my friends. For the first time
in our lives spent under martial law,

Holding Fatima In The Light

Her legs plump in tights under a dainty skirt
—little girls are such fun for mothers to dress—
she lies splayed on the floor,
a mass of red flesh and nerves spilling from her neck.

Quran, The Ways Of Ascent

Out in the blue infinitude
that reaches and touches us
sometimes, Hajar and Sarah
and Abraham work together


Don't turn from me because of what you see
Shall I release the doves for you?
They're in my pockets with the rabbits
Believe in the existing but unseen

For The Free Syrians Behind Bars

You, shoulders hunched on cots in prison cells tonight,
you whose bodies are bound in rubber tires
or hung by meat hooks (for bludgeoning),
you who are dragged to torture tables by your hair,

Manifesto For The Chaste Wanton

She will be your wild mare
at night, but in the day
she'll blush if you glimpse a nipple
through her blouse & look away

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