Majda Gama

Eastern Words

That night in Dubai was humid, languid, in fact it was filled with all the Eastern words (oud, jasmine, crescent) that signify my world. That world being nighttime: the dark-clotted space that beguiles. There are lovers who only exist in this palace.

My parents & I dined with their friend from the stronghold of the Najd, he said: you’re still young, you could marry a prince. The night paled, father looked pensive. A fantasy wedding wove through my thoughts, a tapestry formed from the strands of my allotted nights. I heard the drums of the zaffa, dark henna rose on my skin. I opened my mouth, closed it. I held my breath.

In our dream band, on the Arabian lute, known as the oud:

Majda Gama is the author of the forthcoming chapbook “The Call of Paradise” picked by Diane Seuss as winner of the 2022 Two Sylvias chapbook prize. Poems have appeared this year in The Adroit Journal, Four Way Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Night Heron Barks, POETRY, and are forthcoming from The Offing and Ploughshares. Her poems have been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart Prize. Born in Beirut, Majda was raised in Saudi Arabia and the United States and is now based in the DC suburbs where she has roots in the underground music scene.

vector image of an oud

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