Bring Back Our Girls

1. 	It bejins in Berlin
	
	A Historical Case
	Study 
	In Disappearance + Cultural Theft:
	Exhibit YZ:

	Brinj back to me Nefertiti 
      Her 
	Bust

Take her
From behind 
	the vitrine 
	
	For I know where to find her missinj eye
	
	Then put a woman in charje of all antiquities. 
	She-law: just because somethinj is beautiful 
	doesnt mean it was meant to be consumed; just because there are
 	tourists doesnt make it an attraction. 

2. 	everywhere anytxme atm her
	vxolatxon: guaranteed.  sxlence bought             or your settlement
 	money back. objectxfactxon xn the mxrror xs closer than xt appears.
	please mxnd the wage gap. cautxon: not chxld resxstant to open hold 	
	down 	and turn away squee geez use daxly, mornxng, and nxght
 	supported by an aroma of certified organxc heavens:

	for every gxrl who grows 
	xnto a woman
	who knows
	the best threat’s: 
	one she never 
	has to make
	
	she sublxmates your sublxmxnal
	even your affectxon has been xnfected


3. this poem cant go on without hex i mean 
	hex 
	heeee x
	hex
hex and hex
		hex 		hej heq hez hex

she was stolen bought sold lost put undex buxied alive at bixth she was dxagged in blue bxa duxing a xevolution with vixginity tests she waits then she doesnt she sh sh sh shh she left you she the best thing that happened to you then she lilililililiiii she intifada she moves with two kinds of gxace she ups the ante aging by candid defiant elegance she foxgets but nevex foxgives 

She-language complex 
she complex she so complex she complex got complex complex

4. she spends her time anxious because she knows she is better than 
you rang to say she died from being tired of your everything she knows she is fiyne; gorgeous but she hates it when she infuriates and when she jigs and is kind she minds her own business except when she is new and nervous though she is origin previous and impervious she wont stay quiet she is razor sharp and super tired she undarks, vets, wanes, and xeroxes; yaks and zzzzs the day she dreams 

5. Me tooa B  Me toob Me tooc R  Me tood Me tooe I  Me toof N  Me toog G  

Me tooh                 them 

Me tooi B  Me tooj A  Me took C Me tool K  Mem too Men too Me tooo 

Meep 

too                 Meq too 

Mer too Me too Me too Meu too Mev too Mew too Mex too Mey too Mez too 

            Me     ((too)) Me                               ((((((((((((too))))))))))))

More by Marwa Helal

the days is numbered

startling semiannual saccharine sensitivity to sentencing in a season of severing and severances to so called civil servants of streachery and separation i sense a series of spectators or investigators wont save us like stolen generators nothing speculative about spectacles we beasts spit and sputter   spits and sputters splitting sutures of your occipital up your occidental skeptical of this spectacular softness of this plexus flex i choose the best for myself   swearing the swivel of the stank of spangled smear with speared wet spirit spent to coalesce in this nonsense that’s the thing about your language is i make it sound so good it doesnt have to make sense they is all what you is where you from  someone tell these oxymorons we is dual citizens former resident aliensss and we have only just begun counting down this society’s days with the efficiency of arabic numerals

WHO REAL؟

the return of poem to be read from right to left

"[for] when you are ready
to follow a tendency of anonymous feathers
—Zaina Alsous

say i ،well
particular in one no to
backed ive time first the isnt this
disaster a of out us

*scratch record*

here got we how wondering aint you nah

*frame freeze*

NDE an like feel doesnt it if and
right living aint probably you
that get dont you if and
you for aint poem this

*scene the to back pan now*
(out FBI NSA CIA the kicked we’ve that now)

12 on hand left
seat passenger the of top the gripping hand right
here out cantered i oh
back galloping im now

return i
،reader dear ،you and
return i ،saying my of tired are

belt his unbuckles man a
security entering before
aroused is someone and
state our is this

asks poem this of draft shorter a see to professor first the
device stylistic this sustain could i long how
think you do long how ،prof dunno i ،w counter i
™ pneumoic hegemonic demonic heteronormative khwhite the
؟itself sustain can
rage road and clown class the all and american im now
be never could i

device no is this ،besides

lolololol palindrome is lol
pandemic global whole a took it
yourselves institutionalize to you for
lol
bioterrorism took it
antiracism in training get to you for
lol
well are unwell the why is it
unwell are well the and
duress under

11:11 is it
many am i
air the in miles thousand

sound a without poem a make to trying

words english of number the counting of tired grew i wrote i
capture to takes it
another in one
writing of tired grown have i now but
limitations inherent your towards

compassion
yes
have i
it

up woke you
iraq in
you among dull the
metaphor a is that think still
storm / desert am i then hello ،well
up wake woke the watch and dawn at sill your on sit i
gender had sandman the thought you haha
eye your out sleep the wipe i

evr nevr was iraq :news breaking)
spreading creamcheese your on waiting
(democracy cube ice free BPA infused charcoal

species Invasive i
Ante i
body
language own your in you

how look
light we
n
language
we so
fly
toni like
who elmaz taught
me taught

so were you
w up caught
make(r) my
model and
missed you
glory the
flight this of
creature mythical i
future the in far so gone1 [already]
own my made i
country
two only w
citizenship
:questions

؟real who2
؟free who

reading hologram my this
you to
me showed book a writing coz
yourselves save to read cant yall
english you teach to arabic an write to had i guess

steph yo
pushin still im
brooklyn from ،yea
/n yall did
n nvaders
؟yet doors those open
i thought you know i)
humbled am i all be would
(review semiTYN that for grateful am i
iraq that is how and...
؟you for going revision

window the at still you or
؟pm 8 it was or 7 at clappin
applause yr needed ever one no
protection need we

:question another
it at are we while
؟bulletproof window the is

hate assassin i
nonviolent a this
up stick

slow bullets your
timelines future as fast mine
me end to tried still you where

infinity infinite i
can i only
me unend

:write you when read i what is this
bar bar bar
how at look
yourselves reveal you

me tell you before now
is anger my how
،well
justified well
you for translate me let
vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv=angry
smart v  v vv
fools suffer to afford longer no can=angry
you carry longer no can

you welcome i and
me join to

to moved supremacists white the all why that’s
themselves reproduce to racing carolina north

meanwhile
it has legend
born was i when
:mean name / myself named i
injustice to surrender to refuse who those
mmmmany many many many am i and

wind was i
me make to tried they and
language
/ translate to tried
me empire to
free this catch cant they

appearance third my is this but
me paid have they time first the and
it say so
:me with

loot the gimme
gimme
gimme
gimmee
me mind dont
mean i
me mine dont
donate humbly i
to back peanuts 50 these
elephants of academy the
royalties own my am i
tatted already book next my
body this on

morrie w tuesdays got they yea
charleen w thursdays got i
؟we is we how see you dont
together
history of lock the picking

come
something you show to want i

؟too poems makes kusama yayoi know you did
see to here are we what isnt that but
now painting is she there
dots just are those think might you
trauma every transforming is she but....

tacumeh friend my and me with walk a take let’s now
published get to how know to wants and grandma his about me telling is he
conversation the before
:turn a takes
convenient is it when black only are egyptians says he
anything say dont i and
ends black his where know i because
begins mine and
try would who seminar senior our in wife now his was it
...africa of part isnt egypt ،me tell to

see never you egypt of part the from im
me fool cant you
ourselves colonize we when hate i besides
+looted they while looking wasnt yall like
hand one with history country’s my whitewashed
other the with plantations the moved and
that love you why know dont you like
...much so cotton N-A-I-T-P-Y-G-E zero zero one

why wondering still im
uncomfortable so me makes it
truth the tell to
myself for up stand and
remember i then and
you of 99.9% because is it ،oh
gaslight to how me taught
self my

word strange a about ask to calls ounie sister my
book her of review recent a in used
nialism-de says she
DENIHILISM :hear i and
unsound sonically
correct etymologically but
attempt would that everything de-nihilate to seek i
me annihilate to
me of many the
finger a lift to have never we and
denihiliate to
lack and mediocrity own your
competence of
end your be will

ALIVE AM I 858 72020
listening and
last capitalism’s to
scream

say kawara on days many how and
AM I
LIVE A

recorded been has anger my
assurance quality your for
minor in
key major and

treasure hidden a was i
known be to wished i and

creation created i
known be could i so

in came i ،yea
high riding
horse trojan thoroughbred hotblooded a on
arab or black is it
whose on depending
on or in rollin we house

palestine in up wake will you soon

؟yet there we are
؟progress your at
us killin they how
؟here still p---t but
chief in predator

؟doubt the of benefit
haa
name another by hope that’s

narrative national the written finally i have
possible it makes that
؟me w reckon to you for

precog that this
speak postverbal
the get you did
؟yet EXTRATRANSMISSION3

good what’s knows poet the
living time hard a has but
it

؟cages in children the put they why know you
fly can we know they because
wings got passport every why reason same
long too for mine hold they when like dont i why that’s
envelope an just is body the and
stamps the forgetting about dream same the having keep i why be must

condescension your and condensation in grew i
cumulus i
you radius and circumference i

fractal i
dahlia i
dunyah i

abstract i
conceptual i

:story out coming my

:one no

:store supply art the in one no absolutely

؟with you help can I anything there is ،hi :employee store art

brushes these all up feeling am i way the question that expecting was i :me

...soon closing are we that just it’s no *expression shocked*:employee store art

am i
now learning
color about
blend to
of instead
mute

bristle every but brush your clean can you
pigment of memory the has

chosen and given: families two got
:you for translate also will i this / long very name last our
favored highly and blessed are who we
see to yet have you whom we
other each find who we
be me letting for you thank

you thank
you love i
now niece my call i
say
nok knock
bok bok
؟say cowcat the did what
mooo
yowww

ring ring
matrix the from calling
arabophone the up pick

up taking of me accused who everyone to sorry oops and
this before space queer
!delimited was it know didnt i
condition(s) the shame but poets the love we
kstksttsktsk
grace saving our
low go they when said
flow nile the way the that’s becoz high go we

say josé hear i now
one this for wild you

wild n wile i
poem this teach you when
state Avatar in it wrote i kids the tell

astral i
last i
me qualify can test DNA no
say to is which
me standardize modern evr never will you

ask i now

؟america in surveillve will who
؟america in surveillve will who
؟america in surveillve will who

            “ ”

                        “ ”

            “ ”

                        “ ”

            “ ”

                        “ ”
؟real who
؟free who
                        real who

؟free who

r           e           a           l           who

؟free who



*This poem is best viewed on desktop.


“Sun Ra’s consistent statement, musically and spoken, is that this is a primitive world. Its practices, beliefs, religions, are uneducated, unenlightened, savage, destructive, already in the past. . . .That’s why Sun Ra returned only to say he left. Into the Future. Into Space.” —Amiri Baraka

Instead of an Arabic footnote, here is a list of artists who inspire, and were with me in the making of this poem...and so much more (in some kind of order of appearance): Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Elmaz Abinader, Suheir Hammad, Toni Morrison, Tavonne S. Carson, Ava Duvernay, Solmaz Sharif, Monica Sok, Justin Phillip Reed, Xandria Phillips, Charleen McClure, Nabila Lovelace, Ashley M. Jones, Danez Smith, René Magritte, Jay Deshpande, José Olivarez, Jonah Mixon-Webster, The Desert Crew, Fred Moten, John Rufo, S*ean D. Henry-Smith, Andrea Abi-Karam, Belal Mobarak, Jess Rizkallah, Hayan Charara, Randa Jarrar, Zaina Alsous, Roberto Montes, James Baldwin, Mo Browne, Audre Lorde, Adrian Piper, Evie Shockley, Airea D. Matthews, Tyehimba Jess, Harryette Mullen, Safia Elhillo, Ricardo Maldonado, Mejdulene B. Shomali, Philip Metres, and Raymond Antrobus. Shokran.

“The word Black, has geographic power, pulls everybody in:” —Gwendolyn Brooks, Primer for Blacks

 

Related Poems

Poem about My Rights

Even tonight and I need to take a walk and clear
my head about this poem about why I can’t 
go out without changing my clothes my shoes
my body posture my gender identity my age
my status as a woman alone in the evening/
alone on the streets/alone not being the point/
the point being that I can’t do what I want 
to do with my own body because I am the wrong
sex the wrong age the wrong skin and
suppose it was not here in the city but down on the beach/
or far into the woods and I wanted to go
there by myself thinking about God/or thinking
about children or thinking about the world/all of it
disclosed by the stars and the silence:
I could not go and I could not think and I could not
stay there
alone
as I need to be
alone because I can’t do what I want to do with my own
body and
who in the hell set things up
like this
and in France they say if the guy penetrates
but does not ejaculate then he did not rape me
and if after stabbing him if after screams if
after begging the bastard and if even after smashing
a hammer to his head if even after that if he
and his buddies fuck me after that
then I consented and there was 
no rape because finally you understand finally
they fucked me over because I was wrong I was
wrong again to be me being me where I was/wrong
to be who I am
which is exactly like South Africa
penetrating into Namibia penetrating into
Angola and does that mean I mean how do you know if
Pretoria ejaculates what will the evidence look like the
proof of the monster jackboot ejaculation on Blackland
and if
after Namibia and if after Angola and if after Zimbabwe
and if after all of my kinsmen and women resist even to
self-immolation of the villages and if after that
we lose nevertheless what will the big boys say will they
claim my consent:
Do You Follow Me: We are the wrong people of
the wrong skin on the wrong continent and what
in the hell is everybody being reasonable about
and according to the Times this week
back in 1966 the C.I.A. decided that they had this problem
and the problem was this man named Nkrumah so they
killed him and before that it was Patrice Lumumba
and before that it was my father on the campus
of my Ivy League school and my father afraid
to walk into the cafeteria because he said he
was wrong the wrong age the wrong skin the wrong
gender identity and he was paying my tuition and
before that 
it was my father saying I was wrong saying that
I should have been a boy because he wanted one/a
boy and that I should have been lighter skinned and
that I should have had straighter hair and that
I should not be so boy crazy but instead I should
just be one/a boy and before that
it was my mother pleading plastic surgery for
my nose and braces for my teeth and telling me
to let the books loose to let them loose in other
words
I am very familiar with the problems of the C.I.A.
and the problems of South Africa and the problems
of Exxon Corporation and the problems of white
America in general and the problems of the teachers 
and the preachers and the F.B.I. and the social
workers and my particular Mom and Dad/I am very
familiar with the problems because the problems
turn out to be
me
I am the history of rape
I am the history of the rejection of who I am
I am the history of the terrorized incarceration of
my self
I am the history of battery assault and limitless
armies against whatever I want to do with my mind
and my body and my soul and
whether it’s about walking out at night
or whether it’s about the love that I feel or
whether it’s about the sanctity of my vagina or
the sanctity of my national boundaries
or the sanctity of my leaders or the sanctity
of each and every desire
that I know from my personal and idiosyncratic
and indisputably single and singular heart
I have been raped
be-
cause I have been wrong the wrong sex the wrong age
the wrong skin the wrong nose the wrong hair the
wrong need the wrong dream the wrong geographic
the wrong sartorial I
I have been the meaning of rape
I have been the problem everyone seeks to
eliminate by forced
penetration with or without the evidence of slime and/
but let this be unmistakable this poem
is not consent I do not consent
to my mother to my father to the teachers to
the F.B.I. to South Africa to Bedford-Stuy
to Park Avenue to American Airlines to the hardon
idlers on the corners to the sneaky creeps in 
cars
I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name
My name is my own my own my own
and I can’t tell you who the hell set things up like this
but I can tell you that from now on my resistance
my simple and daily and nightly self-determination
may very well cost you your life