Photo by Tânia Silva on Unsplash

The light is most yellow in the kitchen.

I’m making lemon ricotta pancakes while everybody is sleeping. I’m slicing oranges or peaches or berries. I’m walking to the bakery before the day gets too hot for croissants and pains au chocolat. There’s a gentleness to scrambled eggs. The pan is barely warm, and the spoon moves sleepily back and forth. Chives and fleur de sel to finish. It is simple and good and too big to be turned into a metaphor. I’m making coffee and tea and maybe lemonade with mint. …


Photo by Léa Deleligne on Unsplash

i

Before I met you I was busy building my own mythology. I was writing it in the fashion of a grocery list. Forgetful and graceless bustling through the aisles of the tiny store. Skipping over important items and picking up dark chocolate by the register. I threw everything haphazardly together out of fear that I would run out of time. Whatever ending I was walking towards, I wanted it to make sense.

I start with baptism. Blood and water: blood of a lamb and water running from the garden faucet. I fit a name under my tongue.

ii

I’ve…


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I grew up inside of a language and carved it into a home. When I go back to visit it is boarded up and the door is locked shut. I feel some relief. I’m afraid I would not know my way around the rooms if I were to walk inside. I grew up inside of a poem and then I wandered out and lost the music of it. In Arabic the words are shaped the exact way you are meant to feel them. The word “hold” wraps itself around you tight, round and warm (dumm). Arabic says has a special…


illustration from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Tomorrow I will be twenty and it doesn’t matter in all the usual ways birthdays don’t matter. I don’t know what your twenties are supposed to be about, but I have learned to leave the party early. I will be home by eight and I will leave my muddy shoes at the door. I will tenderly wash my own hair and take myself to bed.

I think this is the path I have walked, lately. I think I’ve gotten better at holding my own hand. All this time happiness has been slowly slowly falling on my shoulders and I have…


Photo by Ian Baldwin on Unsplash

i.

It’s July, and I open the door to an empty house. I fill the empty basket in the kitchen with peaches, so that the sun may come and dance in it. So that it makes the windows sing and point to the dust covering everything. I open the windows, and the high strands of grass in the garden bend over as if to say Hello! Hello! Hello!

The house is still empty when everyone gets here. Our shadows have no time to paint themselves on the walls, our footsteps don’t hollow out the floorboards. All summer we want the…


Photo by Ian Baldwin on Unsplash

i.

Au mois de juillet j’arrive dans la maison vide. Je remplis de pêches la corbeille sur la table de la cuisine, pour que le soleil vienne y danser. Le soleil qui fait chanter les vitres et pointe du doigt la poussière sur les meubles. J’ouvre les fenêtres, et l’herbe haute du jardin se penche un peu pour me saluer.

Lorsque tout le monde arrive la maison reste vide. Nos ombres n’ont pas le temps de laisser des traces sur les murs, nos pas ne creusent pas le plancher. Nous voulons que le soleil nous tienne dans le creux de…


Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

I’ve been moving around a lot this summer. Now I’ve said goodbye. I’m settling. I moved in last week, someplace drowned in light, but it still feels strange to come home somewhere where I can’t remember footsteps other than mine.

I can never think of the places I have lived without picturing the people I love. I have carefully traced their shadows onto every wall. Love bleeds out of the chalk outlines like fullness after a warm meal. The way they put my clothes in closets and throw clean bed sheets on the mattress on moving days. They show me…


Photo by Lucian Dachman on Unsplash

Summer is starting and I have no wisdom for it: I am too busy feeling. I want to capture something so bad I am reaching and reaching helplessly. I am so busy trying to pick apart, to understand, failing and staying in the river and letting it flow over me, I’m so young it always feels like standing at the edge. I think about writing this all the time, write it over and over in my head and barely write at all. Writing means stopping, means distance, and standing outside. It has never taken me so long to write so…


Photo by Liv Bruce on Unsplash

Whenever it rains, Paris streets get nearly as empty as my suburban hometown’s. Even when rain visits for a handful of minutes in spring, tourists suddenly rush for shelter, cafés fill up. The park around me empties, and I sit still and wait and wait.

I am a child of summer. I await the sun’s return, for insects to crawl back up the earth and for the year’s first strawberries to fill supermarket crates. Sunlight lifts something away, clears some leftover heaviness from colder months, everything under it is new and the same. …


Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash

I try to keep the list of things I want from life short: I want my face to look like a place where somebody has lived, I want to walk just enough in a day that I will be happy to return home, and I want not to be alone.

At the start of the year I closed my curtains shut my windows and lay in bed for a week. …

oumaima

summer fruit enthusiast

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