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Veera Sulaiman

My grandmother kissed

a ball of lightning under a Roman bridge ruined

no, that was me


and it went into her bones

broke each of them

a little

no, that was me


And she would sleep with all kinds of men

for a warm bed, a fully stocked fridge

no, that was still me


and will always

be me


but time

moved, moves

backwards, forwards



past and future marry all the time

our exile is happening today

I met my other



at Damascus Gate

in grainy news footage

I met her again

at Shabra and Shatila


I met my son

pressed my mouth on

the ridge of his broken brow

his hair smelled of dust


I kissed a knife

and it wouldn’t kiss me back

we didn’t give you this life

so that you could waste it

it is not, entirely, your own

your mission

should you choose to accept it


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