Majid | Maj al-Yasa

Majid
from your wine-stained lips
meem alif jiim daal
م-ا-ج-د
you print the letters
on my palm
and close my fist around
the syllables.
ت-ح-ب-ن-ش
you love me
like the Prophet
       –salaam–
loved Fatima
   –beloved–
and I love you as a brother.
ت-ض-ح-ك
you laugh.
be my wife.
و-ق-ف
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.

we
نحن
are married
نصبح متزوج
in the dust.
الخطاة

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.
          Majid
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.
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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.