A brief history of misery

Among the stones, there was a flower that reached out to me.

Many years ago, I dreamt of the Arabian Nights

When I woke up I found myself laughing

Nothing wrong with the laughter

But we shouldn’t take history seriously when it turned into a big joke.

I sat at the edge of the battle

Dressed like a warrior

I am not a half person anymore

No Matter how my society categorizes me

No Matter how the world introduces me

I stand in a proud position

Pouring my excitement into the Revolution’s womb

I run with all my might seeking a door or a window

I found nothing

I type on my Google page


I searched many times

But found no results.

I recalled the rooster’s sound in our tales

I waited for its appointment

But nothing came.

I shouted like a child

Who had her first sight of a gorilla

I moaned

All the women who were hidden under my skin moaned louder.

We are not a family

We are one.

We are tied to each other against the walls of the prison.

It took a very long time to crawl from under the tunnels

Climbing the highest trees

Rubbing our faces with the world’s maps

Among the stones, there was a flower that reached out to me.

I was born with a great motivation to scratch the sky

No Matter how many people limited my power

No Matter how hard the world fought me.


Author: Amirah Al Wassif

Amirah Al Wassif has two poetry collections: For Those Who Don’t Know Chocolate [Poetic Justice Books & Arts, February 2019] and the illustrated children’s book, The Cocoa Boy and Other Stories [Poetic Justice Books & Arts, February 2020]. Her poems have appeared in print and online publications including South Florida Poetry, Birmingham Arts Journal, Hawaii Review, The Meniscus, Chiron Review, The Hunger, Writers Resist, Right Now, and several other publications, and her upcoming poetry collection (How to Bury a Curious Girl) will be published in April 2022 by Bedazzled Ink Publishing LLC, Fairfield, CA.

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