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UMI

Date

April 2023

Poem

I do not recall when it began specifically. 
Maybe when I first learned how to say 
أمي
I remember because she wrote a poem about it.
I don’t remember many things from my childhood because I only remember what my mother told me happened, and my mother only remembers because she took some pictures.
She really loved taking pictures.
I do not recall when it began specifically 
and now I’m always afraid I’d forget so I developed the habit of taking pictures of everything.
New people because I must have evidence. Everything. Corners of streets that I’ve walked from (because I might’ve dropped something somewhere and I need to remember where I was). Everything. My mother’s hands. Everything. Receipts. Everything. Living room spaces. Everything. I must document everything. I don’t want to forget anything ever again.
I do not recall when it began specifically. 
But I know by heart my mother’s inviting smile that was never not outlined in red lipstick.
I remember my mother’s black thick hair with red strands being reflected by the chandelier’s sighs as she swayed around the house. 
The way everything blended into background when my mother walked anywhere.
The way everything sang with her as she sang her favorite songs, with her eyes glistening in Arabic.
How her eyes were filled in Arabic lyrics.
Filled in emotions that could only be expressed in Arabic.
I never understood the words. So I don’t remember if she said anything.
I do not recall when it began specifically. 
But I remember when everything forgot the song.
I remember my mother’s lipstick bottles, red in every color, untouched.
Her hair tied loosely in a bun.
Her eyes tired in every picture.
I do not recall when it began specifically because my mother never spoke about it and we do not have evidential pictures.
 
Poem written by @xxmantras 

This project is a collaboration with Farah Alwugayan

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