POETRY: The cover-up by Saida Maher


You are poetry with verses that
make you gasp and an ending that
makes you joy-cry like the day
you cover a heavy-handed arabee
tattoo that begs for forgiveness with
an olive branch from the motherland
and you pick the olives and pop
them in your pretty pink mouth and,
when you’re left with the pits, you
recall the seeds of doubt you
sowed in falasteen, so you swim over
the sea to dig them up and you throw
your back out in the below-sea-level
swelter and discover that the doubts
have sprouted and overgrown, but
it’s nothing you can’t heal from. You
don’t have room in your heart
of mirrors to grieve what you once
thought was important, so you
love the plant corpses, say a prayer
for them, and return home.

Saida Maher is a Palestinian-American writer from Georgia. Her work is in Mizna, Hobart Pulp, Hoxie Gorge Review, and elsewhere. In her free time, she likes to read, write, and seek the silver linings. You can find her @sarsoura_isdoingherbest on Instagram or bintmaher.weebly.com.