4. Amina Jama

Amina Jama


Examples of Confusion


An uncut woman

is not a clean woman,

the nurse translated, meant to say

the doctor needs to open you up

the stitches were done too tight, everything

will be okay.

Meant to

say meant to but said mada hishod haysanin:

don’t you have no shame?


The scar healed wrong,

layers of skin grew but never closed it up.


You should feel ashamed of

what they don’t know.


He’s always on the ward for dying patients

how does he make it past the Angel of Death each night?


It feels awkward

to use my full name,

it’s too immigrant to say out loud.

They argued on what to call me,

he wanted a name that I couldn’t run away from,

she wanted a three dimensional one.

Said I was her Luul,

carved and sculpted in the womb, too precious

to let go.


She gave in.


The drive to Heathrow was grey.

Somehow Londoners call this summer,

they don’t know that warmth is in colour.

Why does leaving feel like the coast, bare?


Mum’s laugh is recorded

over Zainab’s wedding tape.