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i grew up with god in my mouth

By Mejdulene B. Shomali

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."

Added: Friday, January 3, 2020  /  Used with permission.
Mejdulene B. Shomali

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.

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