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Aminah
Poetry & Art

BELLADONNA DREAMS

Today we celebrate you and the days we wish were permanent/Today we are grateful/Until we are unsatisfied with this life/Until, small farm towns no longer hold our attention/ In what ways do we betray our parents?/In what life do they remember their youth?/Baba waits for momma’s ghost in want of her celestial being to keep him company through this life/Yet, I believe she is beyond this plane/ That her soul has moved to another and yet when the flames flicker among the candles/I can imagine it’s her in the beyond./Telling me not to waste my youth/Baba speaks to the open window/the wind carrying his message to the partridge/who gives it to the great and wise owl/ Then momma can hear his I love you’s in between the tears/Her gilabiya shines among the bright stars of this realm/She is tasked with the sick/The ones whose time has come too early/She sends them back to earth with gifts of death/Soothsayer among the living/they tell her of wicked realities/ When the shaman spoke of the afterlife/ I could almost hear her laugh/ She speaks to me now between flame and fairy/Oh sweet belladonna, thy drugs are potent

And with this moment before eternal sleep/I can see my family whole once again.

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by Tamara Al-Qaisi-Coleman

Tamara Al-Qaisi-Coleman is a bi-racial Muslim writer, poet, and artist. She holds a dual Bachelors in Creative Writing and Middle Eastern History. She is the Editor-In-Chief of Defunkt Magazine. She is a 2021 Desert Nights: Rising Stars Writers Conference Fellow through the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. She was a featured performer at The Museum of Fine Arts and Houston Grand Opera’s event “The Art of Intimacy” on January 16, 2020. Her fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and translation publications can be found or are forthcoming in (Fiction) Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, Scintilla Magazine, Paper Trains Journal, The Bayou Review: The Women's Issue. (Essays, interviews, and translations) Glass Mountain, Volume 21, Dead Eyes Literary Magazine Volume .01, and Defunkt Magazine. (Poetry) The Houston Review of Books, The B'K, and Poetically Magazine. Her visual art can be found in Cosumnes River Journal, Sonder Midwest Review, Wordpeace Magazine, and The Blue Minaret.


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