RR

HISTORY

"Plasticity" by Sandra Ghosn

if I wrote to you a family story you would want to know how we relate – you and I. are you white? does it interest you that I am a bit white? everyone finds familiarity familial

but I – I disappoint everyone I know – expectation is a currency squandered on a crowd 

everyone is a bit white. white blood cells are all we have to protect us clear and seminal and cyclical like God

growing and growing until cancers appear a joke that google cannot erase though she would like to I am told

white cells protect me, I am told, until only a few go wrong

only a few go wrong and yet the system shuts down down goose and suck and freckled skin

a farmhouse where we met elders who grimace at my skin          familiarity is familial

my smell         the Derbyshire moors alive in my dreams bird watching

bukhoor filling the air to draw out the pheasants like blood flowering lacelike in syringes

starlight from glass lanterns dotting the hills        meeting Jane and Emily and asking to be friends

skies dyed black with HIV                 oud on the breeze

disorder          heathery downs and historical contingencies

poppy asked if she could call me susan      I’ve yet to meet her again

all they wanted was to be good people

and benevolence is an act only God can     without critique

and even then we ask why god why

I don’t want to see the wisdom behind each death that follows me

I am Moses but urgent trailing after Khidr 

if I knew the future I’d cherish it and share it on facebook

and change the world with it

I believe in an interventionist God.

Contributor
Sumaya Kassim

Sumaya Kassim is a writer, curator and critic based in Birmingham, UK. She writes fiction and critical essays on art and culture and speaks regularly at universities, art galleries and museums about decolonising histories and the power of storytelling. She is working on a creative non-fiction project on autoimmunity as well as her first novel. She has Yemeni, Iraqi and English heritage. She tweets @SFKassim.

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Sumaya Kassim is a writer, curator and critic based in Birmingham, UK. She writes fiction and critical essays on art and culture and speaks regularly at universities, art galleries and museums about decolonising histories and the power of storytelling. She is working on a creative non-fiction project on autoimmunity as well as her first novel. She has Yemeni, Iraqi and English heritage. She tweets @SFKassim.

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