Three Poems

Dalia Tourki

Dalia Tourki is a researcher, a writer, and an activist for trans migrants’ rights.


Of myths and mythologies, and crossroads; and cardamom; of hay sitting, at noon, sewing plans, sewing skins, drawing stitches and crossroads, stars and caraway seeds to calm the fury, seeking a way out to get in of themself, making it real, make me a —

doomsday will be a friday, calls in mosques, and towering minarets, sometimes I am the pyramids, sometimes I am Babylon, sometimes I use the Quran in non-religious ways, and it scares me

day of ashura; I draw a khôl line that goes from Agadir to Damascus, it traces a road, opens possibilities, black is the absence of color, why is it whiteness then that is deemed pure?

Riding the blackness of my eyelashes, we fled through the VIIIth gate before dawn, when no one was there, before the gate was taken to germany, ruins displaced, displayed in western museums, are pure theft, and — I stopped and kneeled to Ishtar, Hussein was mad, we don’t have time for shit like this, and if the eclipse is over, the prophecy is dust, and seven centuries we’d have to wait again

my feet hurt, and we might not even get across customs and immigration barricades. I ran, I didn’t care, I did hesitate but I’m still running, Hussein and me had no idea where we were going, everywhere, we’d be unmasked, our skin knows the sunlight, the toll, death and toil, the heat, our eyes know them who are investigating your manwomanmanwoman, if you’re young, exploitable, or a terrorist

Until the signs we hid, twice, we tried to escape but we failed. The seers, ourselves, fatima & the kahina. We failed better, we failed magnificent, we tried again with rebecca’s sisters, leila’s coven, we were burnt in a palestinian holocaust, mais ce qui est fait est fait, and here we are again, alive, escaping,

sunlight is – and their eyes are flashes, friday light to clear the twilight between the legs, to reveal the O in ophelia, in the checkpoint, on the ID card, on the horizon, to damn the rotting lily between the legs

—and it will be dust


at the two streams that come together1, one salty, the other sweet, we decided to stop—I sing a song and draw a circle, petals of wild roses, yellow crepis, protection, and crows survey us from intruders

five crystals to draw a smaller circle, from east to west, and whispers not to be repeated. I could tell you the words if you took my side. I could teach you the hollow arts, the ones still buried in Carthage, the ones destroyed by American armies in Iraq, the dark wrinkles on the moon of Ishtar

The ones I’m looking at are written in English. boxes boxes boxes. I draw circles and write transgender. I cry when my thighs move the willow trees. I write I agree I agree but I’m not white and under my long nails lives the devil, and I ask how long do I still have to wait cause my might is—and you wake up one day and you realize. Half the bridge is on fire and keep fighting against your sex—your gender your name your origins and say: I’m innocent, I’m innocent.


It takes six months before my breasts see the dawn. At dawn, there is a silhouette, fleeting, escaping, having haunted places, disappearing—wandering between two names, and a fausse identité. A night crawler, a mistress of the dark, she smells La Religieuse by Serge Lutens. How many men did she fuck to get a $150 perfume?

How many men killed her in their sleep confused by the magic of the lily, by their desire that has no name, by her name that has no history. She was born yesterday and today and tomorrow too, a body of all genders, and she cries: See me! See me! They whisper a name she chose from a book of magic; mine! mine!

Magic powers hold sway over children’s minds. Should we once consider that patriarchy is a game for egocentric children? A lifelong pastime, a boyhood’s adventure and discovery. See me! See me! cries the witch in the night, Mrs. New Curiosity. See me! see me! a true woman! A nightshade becoming sunlight, starlight, flash of lightening.

What’s you gender? What’s your sex? What’s your name? What’s you, you, you? Which one are you? A lightning rising up in the skies, at dawn, when dark is dismal, upfront moon and Mars, lightening them to ashes, blowing them to pieces, killing them before they kill her, spreading visions of herself whole, wholesome, worlds and sorceress, out of their dust—they crumble, a million tombstones—

Pour citer cette page

Dalia Tourki, « Three Poems », MuseMedusa, no 5, 2017, <> (Page consultée le 21 février 2018).

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