Majid | Maj al-Yasa

from your wine-stained lips
meem alif jiim daal
you print the letters
on my palm
and close my fist around
the syllables.
you love me
like the Prophet
loved Fatima
and I love you as a brother.
you laugh.
be my wife.
habibi, I say,
we can’t.
sister, you say, we will.

the sun burns on judgment day
as I protest,
I protest,
and yet I lie down.
our marital bed:
a dusty patch of earth two kilometers
from our parents.
my bridal gown:
an old pair of shorts
yanked down without ceremony.

are married
نصبح متزوج
in the dust.

I am fourteen,
and you love me like the Prophet
loved his wife.
I am fourteen,
and our marriage certificate
is a rust red stain.

meem alif jiim daal.
from your wine-stained lips.


Maj al-Yasa is a queer woman of color who loves theatre, stand-up comedy and you.  Sometimes she lives in Edinburgh and sometimes she lives in Los Angeles.  Find her poetry, screenplays, novels and embarrassing YouTube videos on her website.
Rachel Charlene Lewis

Rachel Charlene Lewis is a writer + social media editor, covering sex, identity, entertainment, and beauty. Her work has been published by Refinery29, Teen Vogue, SELF, Glamour, Autostraddle, and elsewhere. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @RachelCharleneL.