Al Mara


Nahrain Al-Mousawi

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 110 in 2005.

Al mara*
Like any woman I know
Beats down the twitch
Under her skin
Tucks the frayed fibers
Of her social mask
Re-makes herself whole
Into this world
And begins to maul
Her shroud of tender skin
In order to “arrive”

Her father sends her back
Instructing her that the
The difference between
Mara and girl is marriage
So she shrugs with disdain
Conceding to be a girl

She wears a woolen gown to kill the winter and
Imagining that its threads twist and spiral
Into the earth,
She stands upright
Against the planting post
And supports the sky
Her head proof of all the world’s

*The woman