Mejdulene B. Shomali is a queer Palestinian poet and Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Her poems can be read or are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Shade Journal, Tinderbox, Diode Press, The Pinch Journal, and Mizna, among others. You can visit with Mejdulene at her website and on Instagram.
i grew up with god in my mouth
By Mejdulene B. ShomaliAdded: Friday, January 3, 2020 / Used with permission.
kept the name between gum & tooth
rolled it around like hard candy
cracked the shell of faith like sunflower seeds
spit out doubt & swallowed the sun
god in my mouth like
every word tithing bless these teeth & their chattering chant
every shout exaltation bless this tongue & its swollen devotion
every murmur prayer bless this spit & its holy anointment
in the beginning was the word a sentence
the word was with god a speech
the word was god a spiritual
when i speak sing rapture
when i roll Rs angels weep
when i lick my lips devils rejoice
when i kiss her the world begins over
Listen as Mejdulene B. Shomali reads,
"i grew up with god in my mouth."