two poems

by Summer Farah

blame it on the moon baby

for noor

Maybe I like light pollution. A childhood of not knowing the difference between airplanes, lightning bugs,
moonlight. I squish my face against the cold car window and the moon follows. I’ve only been afraid of the
moon once. Consider: I’m lonely, I always have been. Consider: I’m crazy, because they’ve decided it so.
Maybe the moon controls the tides. Maybe I feel suicidal at the beach. I remember: hairy legs resting in
sand. Voice lost in gut. Lonely, even when people are here. Who is to blame? I watch the tides and think of
all of the little deaths, of the microorganisms suffocating under my thighs. I am always doing something
wrong. There are no lightning bugs here. Now, I wait only for moonlight. Even California skies cannot
deny me this. Recall: a time knee-deep in dirt and wood chips, letting spiders weave between my fingertips,
ladybugs using me as a bridge across the leaves. I feel them crawl all over me now, especially in the
moonlight. I wake up from a nightmare and it’s there, peeking through my window: me, the moon, my fear.
If I leave my room I’ll die. If I touch the water I’ll die. If I tell a doctor I’ll die. I’d like to blame the moon. I
track my symptoms with its cycle. If I cry tonight I’ll blame the crescent. If I lose it tomorrow I’ll blame the
half. I’ll blame the full. I’ll blame it all, I’ll blame the tides and blame the smog when I forget to go outside.
My lungs are weak, anyway. I love excuses, I love to pretend nothing is serious at all, I love to pretend I’m
making it all up. It’s what they say. Imagine a salve, if I was: I look to the sky.

noooo don’t be a birthright apologist you’re so sexy ahha

I place my country in your palm.

I cannot help but leave

traces of dirt when my arms fall

from your waist. this does not mean

points on a map are defined

by the line of our thighs.

no one tastes a fig too sweet then collapses

a nation in the name of roots—

once, I imagined we kissed & I was not afraid

ashes fell on every border & soon there was nothing

to be denied

I consider myself ash; in this I am alone

solidarity is not sympathy it is work

I have built millions of fields for us to try

my soil palestinian

whatever we plant

grows leaves of that color

I thought I told you sooner.

Summer Farah is a Palestinian American poet and editor. She is the outreach coordinator for the Radius of Arab American writers. Summer is currently a reviewer at Vagabond City Lit and co-writes the biweekly newsletter Letters to Summer. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming from Mizna, LitHub, The Rumpus, and other places.