Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Joan of Arc with Red Lipstick, Pink Nail Polish and Orange Dress

By Ezzat Goushegir

Before wearing my orange dress,
I woke up with my older sister’s tender voice
Asking about my little heart
Embraced by daylight,
I say: Thank you, my sister

I saw it pounding on the screen in hospital’s Cardiac Room, on June 5th, 2012
Still pounding in its little cage
Under thin layers of bones and skin
Clouded by lonely, roaring gases...
Longing for a little touch,
I gazed at it like a little planet hovering in empty space,
Living within itself in a mystifying way
Tears welled in my eyes
For its childlike,  lucid innocence
And its implicit patience
In awe, I say:
Thank you, my heart

Before I leave the bed,
My second sister’s loving voice resonates in my head
How malevolence I am towards you
Thank you my second sister for bearing my redundant cruelties

At eight fifty eight I dial a number hesitantly
To my surprise a woman with Latino accent picks up the phone:
-          This is Carlotta, may I help you?
-          Carlotta, I believe there is a mistake in my file!
(I can’t act the way other people act…I know life is a theatre)
After a while Carlotta says:
-          You’re right! I fixed it!
(I can’t believe on Monday morning something can be fixed that easily!)
 I don’t say: are you sure?
Instead, I say: Thank you, Ms Carlotta
(I don’t say: for your soothing voice that caressed my heart)

I fetch my orange dress from the closet
Dark green snake veins swelled on my hands
Estranged in a labyrinthine, tangled forest
Looking for a meadow to escape out of this maze
My pink nail polish is their comfort zone
Thank you my hands for your healing touch
For rapturous energy you give to those in need
For the food you bring on the tables

Before wearing my orange dress
My son calls me, helping me to search for a ticket on the web
I find one; I pay and fly on the sky with Attar’s thirty birds
Thank you, my son for the reminiscence of Simorgh's story

I was burned sixty times
And I have risen up from Joan of Arc’s ashes over and over again
That’s why I like my orange dress.

I wear my orange dress and paint my lips with red lipstick

In Bank “Cedric” a young black man greets me
He asks: where are you coming from?
I say: Guess!
He is puzzled.
I tell him the origin of my name and its meaning.  Then I ask him what his name means.
He says: It is of old English origin, and it means “kind” and “loved” and it invented by Walter Scott for his book "Ivanhoe".
When I say goodbye, I say Thank you, Cedric
I know the whole Bank would celebrate our names!

The Sun caresses my body
It caresses the trees
The green leaves
The squirrels
The windows,
The cars
Thank you, Sun!

I cross the road while the cars are all stopping for me
Admiring my orange scarf floating in the air
Thank you, cars for your recognition of colors!

In hospital, Ms Patricia, the black receptionist gives me my file with enormous respect
What day is today?
I know Adelaide is turning in Jenny’s belly right now
As if hearing my inaudible voice
When I cry out: Thank you, Universe!

I know many would laugh when I thank even the invisible growth of grass
Let them laugh
I laugh with them with any reason they might have
I know that I have risen up from Joan of Arc’s ashes
And I know that I like my orange dress, red lipstick and pink nail polish

At home, I read the news in ACLU:
“When local police can stop and detain anyone they perceive as "foreign" because of their skin color, their accent or their surname, it is a watershed moment for civil rights.”
My heart is still pounding 
What day is today?

Today is  June 25, 2012

Photo: My Hands by Kaveh Adel

1 comment:

SERGIO DOW said...

Beautiful, dear Ezzat...Thank you for sharing it. The leitmotif is great: Red Lipstick, Pink Nail Polish...(*if you catch my drift...)