I break a mirror of three. My cats break even more. Evil eye, I hear my father’s voice echo in the back of my head. When my mother’s wedding china smashes on the hard floor, she murmurs a prayer. Mirror images. I see you see you see me through sea, blue, and Etel’s yellow mountain. I see her mountain in Berlin and cry. Arab apocalypse. I want to unravel my ghosts. I want to press their laundry and brew sweet tea. I want them comfortable in my skin, crossing the realms. How many thousands of years did it take so we could exist? A bomb silences the eons foretold. I am only an echo of my mother, filled with the brightness of her love. I exist because of my mother. I carry my mother’s land for her. Indomitable. Reflections are mirrored in reflections; we are water, Summer. So Etel says. 53 days, and all I think about is how we become our mothers. Reality cannot deal with itself, and so enters the urgency of the poet: the keepers. Etel says this, Summer. I am frightened. Let my labours move a stream if not a sea. I have pulled the bells of revenge and became water. 57, all I have in my spine is an unwavering gaze. I am my mother’s daughter. Bint immi. Bint mama. In Berlin, the taxi driver spits out his coffee upon the understanding of truth; the dialect of body in nationality. But your Palestinian is perfectYama. I cry in Berlin, in Cairo, in Amman, in Salwa, in the end of time when I am called to witness my life I am called as my mother’s daughter I am called as my mother I become Leena bint Tesreen. It is my mother who walks me, guides me; it is my mother I see in the expo marker and the kites; the sea and its love; the garden and the land. I did not know peasantry, but I wrapped Yama like wool. Mirror, mirror, will you tell me when they will fall? Sword and neck. Expo marker and kite. Illusions and mere dust. Fires and mountains. A land hostage on my throat, doused in gold. My mother picking stones from the river and sea.

About the Author

leena aboutaleb is an Egyptian and Palestinian writer who asks you to commit to the Palestinian liberation struggle. Read her work at