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Questions for Daughters -- poetry by Bella Majam

do you still part

the soft belly of a pomegranate

with the tip

of your fingernails?

does sand salt

the soles of your shoes

though you’ve never seen

the shore? sometimes, i want to say

we were once daughters too:

wide-hipped in our cotton

skirts, tumbling

down the river

with grass-bit ankles.

when i say girlhood was not yours

and yours alone, when i cry

child, you believe what you feel

is all there is to living,

i pray for the rusted scent

of your blood-slicked forehead

to mine, i ask

when the time comes

for the bones i built

to make way

for another’s,

gaze upon her toes—bruise-soft

toes, coin-small toes—

and be born again.


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