Maryam Ala Amjadi
Underneath - Poem by Maryam Ala Amjadi
for Lubna al-Hussein
The butterflies of my headscarf
are pilgrim worms that have always crawled up
the laddered gloom of my vocal cords.
And by the strident testimony of my heels
the life I walk is half dead on the blindness of scales
while the immature conquerors of our alien triangles
feed on the generous familiarity of our circles.
How many shrouds of laughter and wrath should we stitch
so the trampled body of this silence is never vertical
The flowers of our drowsy dresses no longer wish to await
a mating wind that scatters motherless dreams
on the dizzy denial of an earth
that can offer equal warmth only to horizontal feet
and avenge the uneven passion of the pair that
treads on her.
Skirts unite the stupor of legs for
trousers to divide and rule.
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