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where does grief live

 
welled at the hips       wrapping around your gut       inside your skin       on its surface
 
          pouring out
 
          an umbrella after the rainstorm       you without an umbrella
 
between fingers the skin chalky       your worries a rosary the slip       of each prayer
 
thumb to forefinger
 
          your fingers against your forehead       against your heart       each shoulder in turn
 
a cross on your lips
 
nestled in your throat       a ball rolling back from your mouth       gathering snow
 
growing       hitches in your chest       melts in the acid of your stomach
 
          you shiver to release it
 
 
 

Mejdulene B. Shomali is a writer, teacher, and researcher at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Feminist Wire, Mizna, Baltimore City Paper, Diode, The Pinch Journal, and a number of academic journals.