blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2010  Vol. 9  No. 2
print version
translation by Abdul-Wahid Lu’Lu’Ah

Female 2000

Like all the women of the earth
I could have courted the mirror.

I could have sipped my coffee,
In the comfort of my bed.
And on the phone could have practiced chatting,
Heeding neither days nor hours.

I could have minded my beauty,
Applied kohlround my eyes;
And in the manner of a coquette,
Roasted my body in the sun,
And danced, like mermaids on the waves.

And I could have
Twinkled with rubies and turquoise;
Strutted like a queen.

I could’ve done nothing.
Could have read nothing.
Written nothing, cared for nothing
But the limelight, fashions, and travel.

I could’ve chosen
Not to reject,
Not to rage in anger, nor
To scream in the face of tragedy.

I could’ve chosen
To swallow my tears,
To swallow suppression.
And be tamed like a prisoner.

I could’ve chosen to ignore
The questions of history,
The incriminations of self.

I could have chosen to be spared
The sorrow of the downtrodden,
The cry of the oppressed,
The riot of the thousands who have died.

But I betrayed the laws of the female
And chose to fight with my words.  end

   Female 2000

return to top