LISA SUHAIR MAJAJ
Turning to you, my name—
this necklace of gold, these letters
in script I cannot read,
this part of myself I long
to recognize—falls forward
into my mouth.
You call my daily name, Lisa,
the name I've finally declared
my own, claiming a heritage
half mine: cornfields golden
in ripening haze, green music
of crickets, summer light sloping
to dusk on the Iowa farm.
This other name fills my mouth,
a taste faintly metallic, blunt
edges around which my tongue
moves tentatively: Suhair,
an old-fashioned name, little star
in the night. The second girl,
small light on a distanced horizon.
Throughout childhood this rending split:
continents moving slowly apart,
rift widening beneath taut limbs.
A contested name, a constant
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Publication information: Book title: Food for Our Grandmothers:Writings by Arab-American and Arab-Canadian Feminists. Contributors: Joanna Kadi - Editor. Publisher: South End Press. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1994. Page number: 5.
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