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poet

Safia Elhillo

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Safia Elhillo

Safia Elhillo is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), winner of the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets.Elhillo is the recipient of the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize and fellowships from Cave Canem, The Conversation, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She lives in Washington, D.C.

by this poet

poem
my roommate one year in college
would say of my smallness 
that any man who found me attractive
had a trace of the pedophilic  


& i would shrink                    newly girled
twenty-one with my eyebrows
plucked to grownup arches             sprouting
back every three weeks  
in sharp little shoots
2
poem

in the divorce i separate to two piles                 books: english      love songs: arabic
my angers   my schooling    my long repeating name       english    english     arabic

i am someone’s daughter but i am

2
poem
sour heat of the taxicab                   my thighs stuck by sweat to the leather
in the aperture of the sunless hours                         i sit scarved in the quiet
that i think will protect me                    i’ve