an egyptian proverb pt 1.

at the tip of the fluka
the river runs, rushes
feverishly towards my body
eager as if she, a lover
who missed me
who waited impatient
for my fated return

with my back to a barrage
of whispers, about the
amrekeeya who looks she might
throw her body to the nile
………..i surrender,
while i love
her as i love
the homeland
………..[feverishly]/[foolishly]i know she too
is not promised

as the sun suspends its grace
sweet waters rage, whisper
i know what you choose
kisses my feet goodbye




In The Arabic Form*, after Marwa Helal

with a line from Hala Alyan

exile first my, tongue mother my
father’s my displaced too which
amused often mother my
floats he how at
letter a on soft too
known never has arabi

how noticed never she has
accustomed though, tongue my
her betrayed lazily
Nile The, me betrays
س always me in
just, heard never but
*return one my letters soft too

*من يعود الى من؟

A. MUSTAFA is a Sudanese American writer and workshop alum of Azza fi Hawak, and Winter Tangerine. Her work has appeared in the Arab American National Museum Store, and is one half of the Ya Banat storytelling project.