Ocean big as her thighs. Ocean big as her name.
When I was fourteen, my mother told me
that although she was my mother,
she wasn’t my mother and I broke all
the mirrors in the house and crumpled
my baby photos.
When I met my family for the second
time, Meryam told me in garbled French
that we looked alike, and I stared
at the dead roach by the sink and the stains
on the children’s shirts and the sun
that stumbled in through the crinkled shades
and burned me to the same golden brown that they were,
and I thought: no.
Everything was chipped,
my neice’s teeth, the dishes and the cups
and the bit of hope that my first family,
or my second family, or my blood family, kept
in a glass jar in the kitchen cabinet to be stared
at after the sun bled rusty orange, and azaan
spilled into our ears.
It was humanity’s last gift
and the poverty that mingled the humid
August air taught me why Pandora opened
that jar to begin with.
When I left for the second time, the city
looked like it was crying, salty river streams
stetched thin through the Moroccan