From Hijra, by the Palestinian American poet, author, and clinical psychologist Hala Alyan (1986-).
Sit and I’ll tell you of my father’s prayer rug,
dark as plums with yellow borders,
borders like the map we ate, grit tangled
between our teeth, the years swelling
like one hundred arrows. Here,
have some stew, taste June in the steam.
Did I tell you about the name we bore
like armor, the earth they spat up
with fishbone? After they planted copper
in our eyes, we went on planting suns over
the graves. The air smelled of
burning clementine groves. We fed
our daughters until they grew
redwoods and oak trees instead of hearts,
the fever we took from the land when
our ribs turned into compasses.