Slushies, what are some ways a writer may gain your trust? Kathy lifts a brow at poems including questions. Marion looks side ways at pop-cultural references. (Check out this favorite of ours from issues past.) But these poems may make them think otherwise. In “Diving For Pearls” the imagery pulls us into the world of Bedouin and sea-faring cultural economy. Or how “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” may trivialize the idea of the context of curiosity.
Speaking of sparking your joy— or not— what was an item that you loved but had to get rid of?
Rasha Alduwaisan is an oral historian from Kuwait. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Willow Springs and The Common. She earned an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University.
Diving for Pearls
My body is a sack of bones,
feet bound, heavy with stone,
I plunge and sand shatters
without a sound, tongue-
tied, this sea is breathless,
rope & leather & lead,
I grasp what I can see,
rough shells, round shells,
I mouth your name
and something stirs –
I pry myself open to find it.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
Marie, I drove to the landfill yesterday to find my wedding dress the one
I couldn’t bear to give to anyone else I know I shouldn’t have but I followed
the truck down the beach road and into the desert tried to plead at the gates
you know the way they do in the movies but security was so tight, Marie
so I watched from the car and it looked like a mound of bodies lace wrapped
around denim around plastic around mulch and there were so many toys,
Marie dolls without stuffing bikes without wheels so many fridges
torn at the hinge and the truck I followed could have been any truck
my dress any dress so I left drove deeper into the desert until all I could
see were seagulls dipping in and out of the heap nothing on their backs
but feathers and they looked so happy, Marie they really did
I dab oud on my wrists, my neck,
the gap between my breasts,
the way the Agar pours sap into its
wounds, the tender scent filling the room.
In Cambodia, they strip down trees
to find it, the infected bark, the salve.
My throat is dry from shouting, this time
about you smoking inside the house,
the stove I left on all night,
the text we cannot translate.
I want you to kiss me, but all I can do
is tell you I would be better off without you.
Tell me, how long does a bruised tongue
take to heal? How sweet does it taste?