The world from my grandmother’s lap seemed brighter

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In the ebony of my eyes and the caramel of my skin,

My grandmother’s smile is pressed firm—

Her brown locks brush across my cheeks and she holds me tight,

Whispering untold secrets into my ears.

We share smiles that bridge time and make history—

I find myself folded into the depths and crevices of these smiles,

Wrapped up safe in 7aboba’s toob and her secrets.

She smells like fresh lemonade and white lilies and sandaliya, all at once.

She feels like home and sounds like comfort,

And looks so much like me.

Our eyes are shaped like almonds, but carry different stories:

Hers carry depth, having seen so much—

While mine have barely learned to recognize life.

But in our eyes there is a shared legacy,

And one day I will carry my son’s daughter,

Having seen as much as 7aboba did.

For now I am content to find comfort in her embrace,

In the familiar hands that hold me close,

Fingers stained with henna and just as strong as they are beautiful.

 

 

 

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“Majorly Minor”

I am a minority

Of a minority

Of a minority

My skin is not quite

Dark, not really

Light. I wrap my

Head in a symbol

Of the star and crescent

And yes, I am

A woman.

A triple threat, just as likely

To be triply threatened

But I fear no opinions

Sneers, whispers, or thoughts

Because others’ words

Can only serve to better me

As I am.

I choose who I want to be

Not the labels that society

Has decided to stick to the

Lapel of my dignity