ON ORIGINS OF ISHMAEL
Identification of Hagar with the Jews … was as old as Christianity itself; Hagar called Egyptian, Jewess, Muslim. Hagar suffering deserts, ones already explained. Ishmael may not have one—a religion, that is. For example, who could approve Hagar’s affliction? However, Fadia always assumed he had one; & that one. Air in Arabic is one stiff dick— I will proclaim Hagar contested-Egyptian-slave-Jewess-princess. There are, perhaps, feelings: inimical—
ON FADIA’S ORIGINS
Fadia, your father was a dead man forced to go home on foot: Martyr, he was. Unlike you; you ascended home, or was it not Home you ascended to? Doubly miraculous, it is. Both of you martyrs of this land. The desert will be covered with concrete springs sequestered by angels carrying blue swords. Or not angels. Not swords, either. Rather, ground, space, sea arms. I can see your arms, Fadia: & all you are is fingers. Remember, how the English crucified your father on a cactus tree? His branches brittle like bones.
SIWAR MASANNAT, an Arab writer from Jordan, is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Her first poetry collection, 50 Water Dreams, won Cleveland State University’s First Book Award and is forthcoming in 2015.