Hijab wears my mother. Her jaw pinned smooth with pearls: convex mirrors refract evil blue eye. This is to orient a west in love with detonating stone, in love with hollowing caves to fill hungry gaze. My mother once lived hair on display until she picked the rubble from her scalp, shucking shrapnel into the Red Sea. They washed up on the coast, beaming moon to disorient thieves. A khawaga once stole my grandmother’s writings. He climbed her stairs, knocked on her door and she served him tea. When she turned to add sugar, she saw his reflection in the window bending to lick the pages. To hell with civility. When winds unveiled a mosque buried in the desert, my mother, head covered, banged sticks to keep animals away.
Sally Badawi is an Egyptian-American writer and teacher whose words appear in Diode, Orange Blossom Review, Lost Balloon and elsewhere. She currently serves as an associate editor at Typehouse Literary Magazine in the Pacific Northwest. Find her on Twitter @smbadawi.