RR

TO NAME FIVE COLOURS

"Migration" by Marianne Shaker

the past / the future / the mind / the word / the breath


1
obsessing over return itches our tonsils
he sings farid el atrash to scratch the back of his throat
when he feels a sickness coming, longing


2
single as the hanging uvula of a bell
             ululations at the wedding
             carry the sounds of pigeons with
             swollen necks


the prospect of a child
             a barrette slipping off her thin hair
             in a sandy playground


3
a shawl flies off my head
I’m snatched back


i remember the slow push against
the asphalt to walk myself up
the hill in a summer heat


the older women in the family
wrap the crown of their heads in a thin white
a group of women is called a query


it is so quiet you can hear the kiss
of a forehead to the back of a hand


4
each bullet hole holds the bible or the quran
send them all back to god, these wounds are not our business
let the broken glass from the shop windows disintegrate
once again into sand


5
i see tomorrow so clearly
via a bridge
or a brigade


sometimes we sink to the bottom of the sea
we’ve tied nostalgia around our ankles
uprooted the palm trees with ----
palm trees fell over with ----
the last of our oxygen bubbles ripped
chants take breath from us
we can’t swim holdings fists
the last ---- ripped from our lungs with grief
the volume of the highway


let the mediterranean be full of us.

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Riwa Saab

Riwa Saab is an interdisciplinary artist, working with poetry, theatre, music and sound design. She grew up in Beirut, and is currently based in London studying Performance and Creative Enterprise at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She is a member of the Barbican Young Poets and Young Shubbak collectives.

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<span style="caret-color: #000000; color: #000000; font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; white-space: pre-wrap;">Riwa Saab is an interdisciplinary artist, working with poetry, theatre, music and sound design. She grew up in Beirut, and is currently based in London studying Performance and Creative Enterprise at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She is a member of the Barbican Young Poets and Young Shubbak collectives. </span>

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