Blooms Omen


Nahrain Al-Mousawi

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 110 in 2005.

My mother once painted over
The furrow in my brow
With the blood
Of a newly slaughtered sheep
For a blessing of good health
I never honored
Not because I want to be sick
But because I’m the type to like
The smell of my period

The omen of blooming health
I trade for a sniff
Heady and solemn when
I rock back with it like a
Filled glass

An intoxicant
A logic heating
A little space around me
An oven raising
Its broken-shelled
Smear of smell
Replacing a thousand blessings of good health
I have not received
Since I stood in front
Of the slaughtered sheep