Sandstorm

By RASHA ALDUWAISAN

 

There’s an itch in my throat like fox fur,
broom bush, cactus whittled to dust,
and my son thinks the city has vanished,
wind whipping up a smokescreen,
but still, he helps me sweep,
brings in cushions from the garden,

asks me where the buildings have gone,
and I point there, sketch the skyline
with my finger, the desert still on my tongue,

habibi? He asks for water, for milk, anything
to change the taste in his mouth, so I say here,
give him orange juice and syrup,

sit him on the sofa, say watch,
as farm animals dance on screen,
fluorescent tulips singing in a meadow,

but there’s an itch on my scalp
like moon dust, feathers floating over the balcony,
and a hudhud, crowned and ancient, pecking at the air.

 

Rasha Alduwaisan is an oral historian from Kuwait. Her poetry has appeared in Cathexis Northwest Press and Cordite Poetry Review. She earned an MA in Middle Eastern studies from Harvard University and spent a few years working at the Natural History Museum in London.

[Purchase Issue 22 here.]

Sandstorm

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