Fatima :: Seminary
The nuns teach us Quran, or rather they teach us
how to read with fire at the heels of our feet.
I behold daybreak, my father lively with god.
He is good and so I am good. On Fridays I pop up
from the prayer rug like the tallest spear of grass.
I never meant to learn the language. It was an accident,
those vowels stuck in my teeth like corn silk.
I only disobey my father once. That comes later.
For now, the nuns line us up, crow attendez,
attendez, the neighborhood boys whistling
on the other side of the school gate,
they whistle at our indigo skirts, call us by
our father’s names. There is a sura about modesty,
gazes dropped like a plate, but these are our aunt’s sons,
the butcher’s, we drink from the same pitcher, dance
on the first day of Eid. They’re good boys,
their feet making rivers in the dirt when they run.
We’ll marry them someday, or wish we had.