La Binti – For my Daughter

La Binti – For my Daughter

Your eyes shine bright. Like a lot.
I hold you at last in my hands
The warmth of my baby bump, my belly at last in my arms.
Now I can tickle you the way you tickled me with your powdered feet.
When I tickle you, I feel my mother’s fimble fingers on the soles of my feet.

For a moment.
I see my mama in a reflection of your eyes.
And that strangely reminds me of my bedroom.
That mirror I used to secretly kiss with my mama’s Estee Lauder red lipstick.
When I was 3.
Inception connection. See baby, your mama was a genius.


A thin film of tears overcome me and I finally feel her fear.
I    finally    feel    her    fear
I                  finally                  feel                  her                  fear
Allow me explain in three stanzas.
Once upon a time the daughter of an olive oil merchant.
Married a successful self disciplined computer engineer.
And lived.


Right now my sweet beloved baby.
We grow like trees.
And they might cement separate ways.
Between you and me.
Highways maybe. I don’t know, who knows.
That is what happened to me.

Bes stop. Stoplights are good.
So let me teach you here in
As much of the Orange light, hopefully all of the Red light.

I know
That you’ll never feel it
Even if I paint blues, greens, and whites on your palms
If I carve a map, a land, a sacred history on your thumbs
If I plant a kiss on your cheek
The way the trees planted a kiss into the soil of my mother’s country
My birth land, my homeland, my heart, my soul, my beloved tree land.

Even if the ancient bouclee from tetti fastens the curls that resemble yours truly
Over a cassit laban o khyar
Maybe some shay
Or some ma’loobi
Kubi, tabooli,
Zayt o Za3tar ma3mooli
Ya jarna al hindi
Ta3 shoof sho 3andi
3andi kalb aswad
bi rid yakoolni

I know
I know
That you’ll never feel it
But that is why
I will teach you.

Do you know the meaning behind
the 3
the 7
How about this 2
this apostraphe?
English Arabic. A reflection of my childhood.
This Double a double e fahimti aliyi?
Shhhh. Let me teach you.

When you start to rhyme melancholy words like I did
When I was 16
See disconnection divides us
So I’ll sing a sweet sugary synthesis right back to you
In my never-made-it-into-my-women’s-choir, so-I-made-my-own-melody-type-of-voice.



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