asking the nile to show me who it swallowed

it was the year —
thirteen years before baba was born
a late august thursday in tuti
after asr prayer
& the mu’azzin had gone home
for his afternoon nap

& amal & mehaira & hayaat went to the river
to cool off before their cousin fatima’s wedding
the nile                       glass & wind
piercing the lungs    whistling & rolling

& hayaat’s mother had always warned them
to stay away from the nile      especially that august.

a river pregnant with flood always wants more,
swallows young girls she says
especially in tuti      island edges softened by water

where the white nile meets the blue
& the three girls become sky
light & blue —

About the author

Faatimah Solomon is a poet, writer, and collage artist. She is a recent graduate of Stanford University, where she majored in African and African-American…

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Issue 25 - Spring 2022

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