Saturday, January 12, 2013

Nadra Mabrouk


June to June, I wish the air were wetter
pushing into and impregnating ponds.
In one photograph,
you’re holding two slabs of yellow wood
to build a kitchen table for her.
In another, you are near a still lake,
thin, broken branch in hand pointing at nothing.
In the last, you are not yet conceived
but you exist in your father’s eyes,
a small body already forming on the lips of the mother:
pink and thick and wanting.

Always in the gangly outdoors,
I am almost without you.
On a long pathway,
you try to disappear
and I do not allow you.
At the last picnic
I imagined us as something near gray,
your chin shriveling
at the red pulp underneath my nails,
sweetening the lines on my palms
but I still picked
the wounded strawberries off the dripping wood.
Fingers dangling like sap
you refuse to touch.

In any war,
you would be the first
to be shot.
You: lingering and light haired.
Everyone sees you
threading everywhere like white skin,
like blonde small hairs in hidden, sweating places.
In a warzone
where sweat-softened, brown heads
crack off like rolling barrels,
you look around for me and I am no where near you.

You pant with thirst,
a shrinking ice cube on your curled tongue.
It’s good enough reason
to put your half of the sheet on me
and sidle farther away.
Our bodies are of no use.
I survey your bare knees in the heat
circling the ceiling like a vulture, unsatisfied.

Nadra Mabrouk was born in Cairo, Egypt where she spent only five years. She's been in Miami, Florida around 16 years. She is an undergraduate in Florida International University hoping to finish off with English and Journalism. She works with the University newspaper, The Beacon, as a managing editor and reads submissions for Gulf Stream, the University's literary magazine. You may read her other pieces, "Untitled" in the book, Best Teen Writing of 2010 and "Freshwater" featured on the 22 Magazine Blog.

1 comment: