If every time I smile
they see Her in my teeth
through my cheeks
in the sound I make when something is funny
I’ll be happy to have laugh lines
and crow’s feet around my eyes
to prove
I’ve been accustomed to
joy from time to time

if they say the time passed
too quickly
I’ll stop weekend executions
of brain cells
till I’m smart enough
for my hands to become a clock

if they speak about our voices
I’ll stop swearing
I’ll tell the word “fuck”
to fuck off
and replace it
with some eloquently
spoken Arabic

if they forget the look
in Her eyes
I’ll drain the color out of mine
till hazel colors their minds
even though my eyes are from
my mom’s side

if they tell me about our history
I’ll fly from Philadelphia to Giza

if they show me the way things used
to be
I might feel guilty

if they compare our bones
I’ll understand that
the time has
come for me to grind
my marrow into pockets of the earth

if they picture me next to her
I’ll go lie above water

Magda Farrug is an Egyptian American student in Chicago, and has been involved in slam poetry and Louder Than a Bomb, the largest youth spoken word poetry slam. She won the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Key Award two years in a row. Magda is a lover of literature and writing, especially poetry.

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