all seasons at once & one more, by meryem nuh

and you will survive this swollen
soft sighing seasoning
your limbs will be hot and roaring and
aching to fall in the middle warmth of you
the detail valley between your breasts will
rise to make a sun on your chest
your life breath will break and
rebreak and
the raw geography of the place between your
shoulders will pray sea breeze over itself
where your leg meets your back will be a hiding
alchemy almond flower that blooms every time you fold your legs
you will survive this hot throbbing star seasoning.
you will be the healthiest place you live in.

lovers who come to africa and say they recognize nothing
you leave.
only to come back stinking.
richer with my people’s fond scent.
and then from in between small folds of my thighs
you tell me that i sound like baobab.
tall and fat with fruit.
you cannot understand what i speak.
that my accent is too thick and tongue.
and lips. and your father. and the dusk.
and the things you are running away from.

how many more time must i loosen up my bones.
so you can eat from a soil you weren’t oiled in.

meryem nuh is a 20 y/o spanish sudani, living in india. she writes poetry about being black, being woman, being muslim, and the self. she is trying to make it through grad school without becoming a fugitive. her interests (obsessions) vary from cats to malcolm x. her work has appeared in vagabond city literary journal. she works as a writer for qahwa project, is the editor-in-chief at artrefurbish, and outreach director at vagabond city literary journal. you can find her on her instagram, twitter and tumblr.