Poetry: for coming forth into the day

A poem that effortlessly blurs the lines between dreamscape and the waking world, what is divine and what is commonplace, the speaker invokes echoes of Sappho through this piece woven as elegantly as a fine tapestry. The speaker situates themselves between and outside of gender, while also commenting on girlhood and its expectations. And the speaker says it best, “once++i was trapped in a stairwell by a butcher as he cleaved me+++pomegranate jewels+++spilling+++down+++steps crocodiled+++devouring+++us+++both”



for coming forth into the day

after sappho

when sleeping through the night traps their eyes++++++i let the cooling mist of my breath
++flash knives       across their lids       hewing the twine and twist of night bark

+++++++++my lips are anubis

++++++a blue bowl of oil to catch the fruitful++++++mud++++++of++++++holydreams

++++++++++++++++we are housebound++++++putrefying knots of flesh

+++yawning+++utterances+++while hook worms+++moss+++our+++    livers

there is so much life in the decaying
+++++++++++++++++++i have come for all of it

+++++++++++++++++++we find baba in the marsh
+++++++++++++++++++++++riddled with reedy arrows+++the nibbling plumes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++turning a clod of dirt      ++to godstuff


+++++++++++do not stir the gravel
++++i am sound and it is sound

i am possessed in the tumult of storm
++++made thorn apple embryo++++++poison++and++medicine

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++there are plunderers at the breast of heaven

once++i was trapped in a stairwell by a butcher
+++++as he cleaved me+++pomegranate jewels+++spilling+++down+++steps

+++i crocodiled+++devouring+++us+++both


if you have henna on your hands+++++baba will not eat what you cook

+++++my neck is isis


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++under the tendrils’ shade
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++we hold a hope for restoration by rose
++++++++++++++++++++++lichen+++moss+++and bee song

++++++++++++++++++pressing my lips to hers+++i find her+++skull much smaller

+++than i imagined+++my fingers a delicate+++wreath embroidering her hair

+++startled by a child’s affection+++the five downy ducklings

++++++++++++++++++++++++breaking an opening   into the sky

over the++++lapis++++years++++of++++loving++++you

++++++++from a single fruit to a grove of towering date palms+++my worries have grow

a phone is put to the ear of my cousin hours before

his death++++++++his breath a worn out husk rattling back to my goodbye

+++++circumstellar++++++++this boundless body


+++++++++++++++++++++++++my tumor is a murmuration of starlings
+++++++++++++++++++++++++shielding me with their sweep and swoop

+++++no part is without a god

donia salem harhoor

donia salem harhoor (they/she) is an egyptian-american bibliophile. Executive director of The Outlet Dance Project, they are an alum of Community of Writers, Open Mouth Poetry Retreat, The Speakeasy Project, and several Winter Tangerine Review Workshops. A 2021 runner-up for Spoon River Poetry Review's Editor's Prize and 2021 finalist for Palette Poetry’s Sappho Prize, their poetry has appeared in Mizna/AAWW’s I WANT SKY, Swim Pony’s TrailOff project, Anomaly, and Sukoon magazine. harhoor was Ground For Sculptures’ inaugural Performing Artist in Residence. An herbalism apprentice of Karen Rose of Sacred Vibes Apothecary, their MFA in Interdisciplinary Art is from Goddard College.

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