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Anemone by Zaina Alsous | Word Riot

October 22, 2016      

Anemone by Zaina Alsous

I wish this field wasn’t so red. I wish I never met your mother. I wish I could coherently

explain all the ways I am enormous-
            ly a disappointment. Poppies, the official
flower of Israel, in Hebrew named kalanit
after bride.

Poppies in Arabic, named shaqa’iq
            after wounds, grow wild
in Palestine. Do you remember
the plans we made to visit.

Strawberry smoke leaves
our lips as we argue, or was it
            exorcism, a field of ghosts

seeking exit from misshapen
            mouths, a malpractice in first
person English.

Did our pasts play together,
with petals and kites. The tender-
ness of air before genocide. Funny

story about love and electricity:
same field, same source
can’t bring forth a current.

Processed with VSCO with a8 preset

Processed with VSCO with a8 preset

About the author:

Zaina Alsous is the daughter of Palestinian Muslim refugees and currently lives and organizes in the U.S. South. Her work has appeared in The Offing and elsewhere.

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