“My Body Is Mine” by Amira Antoun Salameh

Amira Antoun Salameh


In that dark, the light
strike startled my mirror.
I saw nudity—by accident—
& did not understand myself
without fabric.
Thunder boomed & rain released 
bright streaks—again, again. &,
I froze. Stared
by dark devouring 
lightning, my mirror,
Translated from the Arabic by Jennifer Jean and Yafa al-Shayeb

from Rattle #77, Fall 2022
Tribute to Translation


Amira Antoun Salameh, from Damascus in Syria, has published and won awards for her poetry, children’s stories, and puppet theater; as well, she writes theatrical scripts and directs plays for the Cultural Center in Latakia. | Jennifer Jean & Yafa al-Shayeb: “Jordanian writer Yafa al-Shayab and I have co-translated Amira Salameh’s poem for a bilingual anthology that I am co-editing along with poet Kirun Kapur—which is tentatively titled: Other Paths for Shahrazad: Contemporary Poems by Arab Women. This is a project of the Her Story Is collective. HSI is led by independent women writers and artists from primarily Iraq and the United States; it promotes projects aimed at expanding linguistic, artistic, and cultural boundaries in response to global conflict, with a focus on centralizing the experience of women. We believe our process transforms established power structures, creates new grounds for learning, and builds a community of equals across borders.”

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