[Scene begins with ‘indistinct chanting’]
Indistinct for Other, seen-Arab—as when Olive whistled her path
across earth & towards desert (to meet Hagar, she said).
She was often checked at borders: You shall die before you see a desert--
Olive dragged when she fell, on a leash put;
she turned all camel-like, became a camel--
Ali Baba’s purple scarf did not impress Gertrude Stein,
she thought it, inscrutably undiced.
Mostly, Olive is wearing a yellow, dirty gold shirt. Her hair a thick mess.
[& Uniforms of Snow]
Between picking & choosing prisoners there is
a differential equation struggling with
variables of innocence. Seedling
inside that howling head of yours,
Olive—do you hear?
Every time you come near
peeling: braid of skin
off your chapped feet--
Blue jays I will imagine
swirl around my ear.
Siwar Masannat is an Arab writer from Amman, Jordan. She is the author of 50 Water Dreams (Cleveland State University Poetry Center 2015). Her poems and articles have appeared in The Denver Quarterly, New Orleans Review, VOLT, and 7iber, among others. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.