A Woman of Many Lands
by Asma Abdi

  1. 1) Today
  1. Do these streets see me?
  2. This river by which I have walked every day
  3. And the beautiful red bridge in front of my window
  4. taking me to the supermarket from which I have bought my bread every morning
  1. Will they call me by my name?
  1. Vanishing, I have felt
  2. like a snowman under sun
  3. Melted in many soils
  4. Melted in many minds
  5. Melted in many bodies
  6. And there will be nothing left but a far memory
  7. of me,
  8. In the mind of the pedestrians
  9. A stranger in the city
  10. A woman with a weird name
  11. A migrant; a vague shape
  1. I have lost my footsteps
  2. Somewhere on the way
  3. Who will I be without the streets remembering my name?
  1. 2) Yesterday
  1. Naked
  2. I shivered in front of the sharp eyes
  3. of the passengers
  4. of the officers
  5. Who made me to take my clothes off
  6. In the airport
  7. In the long queue of non-Europeans
  8. Brown skins, red skins, black skins, yellow skins
  1. And I waited and waited and waited
  2. Naked
  3. For them to check my passport
  4. And the passengers went
  5. And the passengers came
  6. And it took them like eight years of war to check my passport
  7. Up and down
  8. Up and down
  9. Their eyes moving on my whole
  10. Checking my brown skin
  11. My round butts
  12. My firmed breasts
  13. My non-European English accent
  14. My suspicious proud eyes
  1. They couldn’t recognize my name
  1. I should have known
  2. They have started to forget me
  3. Like a soldier coming back from eight years of war
  4. Deciding to forget all the faces smashed under his boots
  5. Do my proud eyes ruin the feast of the soldiers?
  1. They couldn’t recognize my face
  1. And they checked my passport again
  2. First page, second page, third, Fourth, fifth, Sixth…
  3. But, my passport is full of scars
  4. It bleeds
  5. It smells horrible like oil
  6. and it’s smashed under the soldier’s boots
  1. They couldn’t read my name
  1. And they took my Persian language out
  2. To check
  3. Up and down
  4. Up and down
  5. but my Persian language is shy
  6. it mumbles
  7. My Persian language gets terrified easily
  8. and it was panicking
  9. when they couldn’t find it on google
  1. and I was naked,
  2. and I was shivering,
  3. And my Persian language melted
  4. Somewhere in me
  5. Like a snowman under sun
  6. a bird in the sky
  7. a far memory of home
  1. Something moved
  2. Something changed
  3. Between two flights
  4. Running from one airport to another
  5. borders after borders
  6. Stamps after stamps
  7. on my passport
  8. on my skin
  9. It aches
  1. 3) Tomorrow
  1. It will be a Sunday, like any other typical Sunday
  2. The day will stretch in my bed
  3. And the beautiful sun behind my window
  4. will tempt me to get dressed
  5. And go to the supermarket and buy my bread
  6. And I will make my breakfast
  7. And I will get lost in the smell of my coffee
  8. Filling my home of no matter where
  1. Melted in many soils
  2. Melted in many minds
  3. Melted in many bodies
  4. I am a woman of many lands
  1. My scars do not recognize each other
Packingtown Review – Vol.12, Fall 2019

Asma Abdi is a postcolonial feminist as well as a fiction and poetry writer. Coming originally from Iran, she has lived in many countries including Poland and Germany. She is currently based in the UK, doing her PhD studies in Gender and International Relations. Her literary works in English have appeared in Samizdat Literary Journal, Badlands Literary Journal and Barebacklit.

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