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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.