Habibi

As featured on Ephemeral Elegies






Seated in Sukhasana,
head over heart
heart over pelvis,
I lower my gaze
to my chest.
Large pores, nascent
stages of wrinkling,
span my cleavage.
Boldly on display, joining
blood blisters
and freckles
and fine baby hairs.
I’m proud of these marks.
My mom has them.
My aunt, too, who bronzes
better than all the
women in this family.
Matriarch of the Decker women
Lineage. Gypsies and thieves.
Allegedly.

Hands folded in Anjali Mudra,
I lift my chin in sun salutation.
Ask, “Who were those Lebanese
women before me?” who
make up my composite parts.
Real, pioneer women,
babies at their hips and breasts.
Long, crooked noses cast down
on men there solely for utility.
Situs talking shit over
kibbeh nayyeh.
Lean hands dipping Syrian bread,
Molding girls into sharp, sensitive
women.
Like my mother
and me
and the child that won’t follow.


© 2020 Andrea Festa