This morning I watched my mother
unfurl like a cherry blossom.
Her arms branched towards the ceiling,
weaving into the air, coiling.
Her back, arched like a bough,
dripped satin bed sheets.
Words piled beneath her bottom lip,
pulled back in a yawn.
Her teeth—white buds—wedged
themselves between sunlight and
her voice, raw honey—
petals of Arabic swaying in the breeze.
In the afternoon, she sat like a mangrove,
her arms like roots submerged in cooking.
Her knees bent like reeds in the Egyptian
wind and rode the hardwood floors like leaves.
I wish I thanked her for reaching
into soil and watering down the world
before my eyes so like a banyan
I’d be able to grow from it.
This evening, I sit beneath my mother’s feet.
She is a date tree, arms spread wide and thin as the Nile.
Al Janna Tihtal Al Aghdam Al Muhama’at.
Heaven shadows itself in her footprints.