I WILL SURVIVE
Where I come from, they still bury girls alive. Yet my father went and gave methai, sweet fat-fattening nourishment, to everyone he knew when he found out his first born was a girl. Then came the reality of teaching his girl how to make it as a female in a culture where older men, sometimes even in one’s own family, grab-a-feel of a prepubescent girl if they so choose. The easiest remedy was to turn me into a boy. I can’t recall if my wearing shorts, no make-up, very short hair came from a desire to be like one of the boys or to survive. I learned to curse very young and I trusted no one for a very long time. I learned to be the sun that can rot you from my father; I learned to be a woman who knows the man in the moon from my mother.
Continue reading “Exile is a Fire No One Can Put Out by Annie Q. Syed”
I am not from here. I am from somewhere in between push and pull. I am a thrust not yet experienced by what people usually call ‘home’. I am exiled. I am exile. I reside not in my consciousness, but in the lingering smell of last night’s cigarettes and rain drops. In the burning of pages. In the hunger for belonging, which I feed with matches, flames, and the ashes of what were once my journals, my essays on the flesh of the world, my notebooks, my manuscripts, my resolutions, my shopping lists, my thoughts on the nightstand. Exile. Soft, felt in my hands. Felt in yours. Grasping its shape, fingering its texture, sensing its temperature. Exile, mingled with memorabilia and all the angers of the world. I live with it as one lives with a strong sense of physical presence, something to cling to until I get better. Something to keep me going. Being a gesture, becoming an extension of its flesh. That’s what exile is to me. A grave. Luscious. Infinite. Sarcophagus of blessed souls. I am pulling you into the depths of it. Exile, exceptional euphemism. Continue reading “Exile, intensive care by Christina Tudor-Sideri”