A Country Is No Small Thing

Nostalgic as scars/ brought to our knees by our own hands/ the world undoing itself does not faze us/ when his mouth mangles mine/ I write of love/ I write of a country racked/ of women marrying their rapists/ hometowns thinning/ red oil gore/ Tripoli turning turpentine/ blood is blood is blood/ he guts me with grace/ leaves plenty of traces/ only poetry eludes us/ this poem begins with my mother’s hands/ worn down and ready to bend bone/ so I put my phone on silent and fuck him to western music/ I almost never sob/ a country is no small thing after all/ mother eyes the love bites/ I eye her copy of the Quran/ sin is a state of mind/ this poem perches on a porch/ in its mouth: a love story/ a touch of homelessness/ in its mouth: an unmothering/ a severing of anything worth keeping/ grotesque as it seems/ we peel back the night blanketing us/ stand feet firm/ say fuck a love that’s holy/ and nostalgic as scars/ we are brought to our knees by our own hands/ once more, oh/

/once and for all/

Sarah Uheida was born in Tripoli, Libya. She is 21 years old and is currently busy with her undergraduate in psychology and linguistics at Stellenbosch University. She learnt to speak English at the age of 13 when the civil war in Libya forced her to start a new life abroad. She is compiling a poetry collection, Beautiful Women and Where to Find Them, and penning down her memoirs of the war, A Girl’s Plethora of Knives. You can find her strolling through the streets of Stellenbosch and reading Sylvia Plath. Her work is featured in the literary journal New Contrast and Blindeye.

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