museum date with edward saïd

by Jood AlThukair

alo, hi edward, sorry to bother you bas
are you free tonight? there’s this new exhibition in town—
la, edward, it isn’t like the previous one bas
we can leave if anyone self-orientalizes

in the mirror i outline my lips
for every funeral kiss
i fist my coils in a low bun; when i forget
my grandmother, i look me in the eye
& i bridge the chasm

edward enters the museum, sees me,
kisses my two cheeks, tells me i look taller
he stares at a painting of a belly-dancer luring
soldiers that don’t speak like us & scowls at me
i apologize

edward walks me back home
he asks if i listened to the new abdelhalim song
i tell him to sing it to me
& i tell him i love him

Jood AlThukair is a writer and editor-in-chief of Sumou, an online magazine for creative youth. Based in Saudi Arabia, she oscillates between writing and making art all while plucking pomegranates, juggling academia, and fighting for decolonization. Find her on Instagram: @jusqu.a or Twitter: @joodthu.