Because I am their daughter my body is not mine.
I was raised like fruit, unpeeled & then peeled. Raised
to bleed in some man’s bed. I was given my name
& with it my instructions. Pure. Pure.

& is it wasted on me? Every moment I do not touch
myself, every moment I leave my body on its back
to be a wife while I go somewhere above the room.

I return to the soil & search. I know it’s there. Buried
shallow, wrapped in rags dark with old & forgotten rust,
their discarded part.
Buried without ceremony,
buried like fallen seeds.

I wonder about the trees: Date palms veined
through the fruit with the copper taste of cutting.
Guavas that, when slit, purple dark as raw meat.

I have to wonder, of course, about the blood orange, about the pomegranate, splayed open, like something that once was alive & remains.

Safia Elhillo