For the girl who wishes she could be less different
Poetry by Nardine Taleb
I must admit to you that on many days, I thought of taking off the hijab permanently,
only to realize that nothing will hide the way my skin bakes and sizzles, even under a polite Ohio sun.
Egypt comes out of me one way or another, like a hiccup, and at eighteen, I saw myself as a pearl-white building
dirtied yellow by a sandstorm. But my God, how Time forces sense upon you.
Lift your chin up, girl, and see yourself the way you see the stars.
When God made you, He had just finished making the sun; His fingers still caked with powder of gold
Nardine is a Cleveland native and graduate of Case Western Reserve University, where she received the Finley Foster/Emily M Hills Poetry Award for best poem (2015) and the Edith Garber Krotinger Prize for best short story (2017) from the Department of English. She was a finalist in Gordon Square Review's prose contest last fall for her story titled "Soad Hosny." Her work covers identity, culture, religion, and the grappling of all three. She's often seen with a latte in hand.