Aida Bardissi

(iii) عودة

عودة إلى الحب // return to love

i am a passport; a blood orange. i want to sit in your back pocket; an imminent stain;

let’s make up (out) a border & call it a nation — PEEL ME OPEN

ya 7obbi, let the pith of me perfume your skin; Andalusian ancestor;

i want to exist with you in a time before bodies knew flight; knew paper 

knew knew knew how to eat                   let’s kiss

& return to root. a rebirth. you are my land; unconquered & supple.

i touch you & i’m made of light; a sun; a celestial body of hope —

عودة من الحب // return from love

:: الإسم على مسمى :: i embody my name; an emotional comfort; a perceived home. i am overcome

by the feeling that i have written this poem before. time GLITCHES until i’m with you

& then it stretches. in it, a mirage nestled within the relics. a citrus peeled before its prime 

embitters our tongue. let’s blame it on TIMELINES. split tongues. i do not know if 

my name means i have come or gone;                  MIXED SIGNALS ya3ni.

عودة الحب // return of love

i keep hoping you will hold me different this time. love is a burial of fear.

         but my palms sweat while i write this poem. i collect your things from the mausoleum

         of my chest; archiving the future; leena and i discuss bell hooks while she paints

         oranges — metaphor on metaphor; soon, this body of poems will RETURN TO SENDER;

         for though we do not believe in nations, habibi, we all have an address —

About the Author

Aida Bardissi is a doctoral student at NYU Middle East Studies, where she researches Egyptian film of the mid-twentieth century and its concerted national project(s), specialising in race, indigeneity, and constructed nationhood. Her poems have been featured or are forthcoming in Mizna, the Indiana Review, Palette Poetry, and VIBE Magazine. She speaks four languages but dreams in one.

Instagram: @masreyamrekaneya

Twitter: @aidabardissi