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they hang our bodies
  art exhibition: west bank lovers
we burn the flag for settlers, how masochistic
  THE PALESTINIAN: a time-turner. we revert
into seas, salt preserving our bodies; souls hanging:
  a speculative piece. they press their noses against our windows
what a view, two Palestinians fucking.

  performance piece: THE PALESTINIAN WOMAN.
the history of [archived]. spatiality of orchids.
  return of light. I am waiting for you, albi,
to throw the gas at the museum & liberate us. don’t be
  a coward. space cowboy, babe, I dream of the fire.

enough about the olive trees, I want to talk about
  when you drag my hair across the street and proclaim
me as yours. left my body hanging in the window; Maryam never dies.
  let the men see how you marked me. molotovs
and bruised inner-thighs: THE PALESTINIAN MAN.
  I want the violence, crave the fire. I promise, albi, I’m good
at screaming. throat splits land open,
  like a good bitch.

the FUTURE. a SOFT love, the mountains
  kissing hips, loz-skinned and olive-washed hair. isn’t that
what we imagine? no missing skin or the sovereignty of fighter jets.
  if I kiss a boy from Khalil and fuck one from Ramallah, what’s left
for my marriage?
  zawajj, zawajj. married into horror stories, I run
into the groves on fire, I want to burn alive with my land
  how foolish, another dead girl. I grow starved,
you demand my loyalty, I’m loyal to love.
  the moon rises, full, and you call my body fertile,
ready, how tragic you’re not my revolution. tear down
  the museums, unhang me, douse me in water.

fuck your performance piece, albi I have no shame
  if the whole city hears you fucking me, isn’t that what you wanted?
primal, like how they draw us in their museums & exhibitions.
  hymen between your lips, they want to see our blood.
performance piece, you eat me: THE VIRGINITY WA AL NOUR.
  break the stained-glass windows, Shammout to paint us whole
take the exhibition, my body
  stilled on your window, burning.

I asked if you’d make love to me when the war comes bas
  the war is always present, its mouth at the windows
they step on our garden to reach us by foot, habeebi, do
  you hear what I am saying? I am dying
for the violence, I desire the sea. bring me
  to my knees, take the stones, bury the
windows. drag my hair across the shards, I heard
  a rumor you own me. dip me in rose-water, I’ll come out
the blushing bride: WEST BANK LOVERS. I want you
  to unhang me, wash me, bury me. bring the gasoline, babe,
it’s a party. will you touch me in this violence?

  the war doesn’t bother knocking.
how tiring.
  how many of Darwish’s lines will they paint on me? a statement piece,

our bodies contorted in unintelligible letters, what a view!
  you’re a coward in love
with their gaze. I won’t drown
  in the sea like a scorned lover, I want to hear you laugh again
habeebi, albi, I won’t give birth here.
  west bank lovers: all I know are your eyes
let me down from the window, albi.

  I am tired of being owned. let the air cool the children,
the rivers, the churches.
  the glass tangled in my hair & your cock
on exhibition. you said once in secret you love me. I left
  my lips for you to eat, will you leave me so unfulfilled? fool, habeebi,
al nour, al nar; LIBERATION PIECE, west bank lovers: all I know
  are your eyes, my hands, the heat of the explosion



leena aboutaleb is an Egyptian-Palestinian made in between spaces. Currently a graduate student at the George Washington University, she spends her time working in futurisms. She can be virtually located on Instagram at leena.jpeg.
Current Issue
3 Oct 2022

Lying in bed last night I felt fingers reach in, grabbing. I opened in spite of myself as you clawed me with your fingernails, flattened, panicked. Split throat, iron tongue, white masks ranged overhead, the rings on their fingers scraping me as they reached in to take you.
from my tower we climb, shroud as my veil. We leap on his fae steed
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