• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 04
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Dear Sister of the Sidewalk Stain. Dear Sister of the Upside Down and the rust and the slanting light that chills. Your head sheltered from blows, your peripheral delimited by dark visor, your gaze stalwart. Sister, my aunt in Beirut says the covered head puts us 1000 years behind. We’re in the times of veils, we’re in a Ghirlandaio, we’re trapped by oils and colors and mystery. Sister, what did you buy at H&M? Sister, is it cold out? Remember the Blue Mosque, the small girls there posing like Marilyn Monroe, hands on straight hips forced out to make curves, fairy lights stretching behind them like those surrounding old Hollywood dressing room mirrors. All the men in the center praying behind the rope, in the best seats in the house, under Allah. I wanted to feel that awe of walking in and rising up, that you feel in St. Peter’s, that you feel on Sunset Blvd, you small and something big and beautiful and silent – silent, thank god! so I could brainwash you – towering above, gazing benevolently upon. I didn’t think to lift up the rope and just go.

Remember my German mom and my Lebanese dad? (How on earth? says my Italian mother-in-law. Only in America.) Remember my dad who reduced us to women? Who reduced and reduced and reduced us to our shoes. Who said, two decades before 2016, a woman will never be president. Who also said, never underestimate the stupidity of Americans. As though we weren't both.

I sit in a small uneventful corner of enemy territory, Sister of the Rippling Sky. I reach up for you with both arms.