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Olga's Pool

صورة
Dearest Ms. O,
This is what one could call a goodbye letter. A letter that is not sent,  for many, many reasons.
I am writing to you in this formality because I think you would appreciate  the irony behind it. It might've made you laugh. I also think you would've  liked getting letters addressed to Ms. O.
I could tell you that I did not try to make you laugh earlier because I thought  it to be inappropriate but the truth is, I didn't think about it the past months.  I was too much consumed with myself.
When I knew earlier this week that you had left, all I could think of was that it  has happened as per the illocutionary force that you had been uttering so  nonchalantly for so long. It happened and then was announced to us in a  sentence, in a virtual void. It happened and it was just like that line from  Mrs. Dalloway:"Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." She did.
Perhaps, no one believed you Ms. O when you said you yourself would conjure  up the event for…

Softest Keys

صورة
I break the water.
The strokes relax me and make me feel strong. I think of my younger sister's back muscles moving and carrying her across the surface of the pool; they now move her boat through rivers. I remember my older sister's right arm muscles dancing perfectly as she swerves her racquet to catch the tiny ball, like a mole on the surface of the squash court.  I have no memory of moving my muscles for action; premeditated action.
I have no memory but this. My body breaking the water. This pool. For years and years.
I break the water and I wonder what broke my heart?
How can it be you I should ask but I have no answers and the questions fill the pool with movement like the memories that flash through my brain and the smell that I can't remember and the tingling of my finger tips on your hair all that fills the pool and the water moves ever so softly while I stretch my bare back and move across it breaking the water slowly and watching my arm go up in the most parallel o…

زرع بصل

متخرّطش بصل على قلبي
أو متخرطش بصل من أصله، بلاش بصل خالص، أو ممكن نتحايل على الموضوع و نحط بصلة بحالها
افتكرت وأنا بغسل الفراخ من تلات أربع أيام، إني لسه مجبتش ملح خشن، لحد دلوقتي ريحة الزفارة لسه في الحوض بس مش هجيب ملح خشن عشان دي كانت فكرتك إنت و أنا مليش مزاج أعمل الحاجات العبيطة اللي كنت بتقترحها. حاسة إن كفاية كده. ف عملت ايه بقى؟ غسلت الفرخة بملح و خل و دقيق و قصقصت الدهن اللي لازق في الجلد و شيلت من الجلد على قد ما أقدر و أنا بفكر إن مفيش داعي للجلد خلاص، لأنك مش هتاكله، مش هعرف أشيله من على الصدر و أحطه في طبقك و بعدها اسألك عايز الجلد المقرمش؟
متخرّطش بصل خالص
حتى لو هتاكل لوحدك متخرطش بصل، قطّعه حتت كبيرة و واضحة، باينة كده في حلة البامية، أو بلاش من أصله، بلاش بصل.
بتفتكرني و إنت بتطبخ؟ طب بتعيط لما بتاكل لوحدك؟ طبعًا لأ بس أديني بسأل و خلاص، سؤال و السلام، سؤال ملوش لزمة لأنك مش سامعه. أول مرة طبخت بعدها قعدت أعيط طول ما أنا باكل، أعتقد الواقعة نفسها مكانش ليها أهمية، يوم عادي بنعمل فيه كل الحاجات العادية: نصحى نبص في التليفون نفطر نضيع وقت نطبخ نعيط ناكل نعيط ننزل، بس المه…

Perhaps, Hands

"Spring is like a perhaps hand" writes cummings, and I read it and think of what the spring will lay across our paths.
Maggie's hands are the most beautiful. As she slept, I would look at them for the few minutes I was allowed in the ICU and keep pushing the thought away. I would try to look the swelling away so that it would not be there, on her beautifully intricate fingers, her nails that laid on the flesh of them without the pain of cuticles and their constant hassle.
We have not inherited her insistence on keeping the house clean.
The last time I was in her house, I looked at the deep red of the fabric that bound the wood of the furniture, the red in the handwoven kilim on the large granite stone blocks that made up the floor and I felt that this red is the color of her passion, subdued like a baby put to sleep because it’s the right time. I remember now the discussions I would have with her daughters, my cousins, beautiful women, with brushes of their mother's …