Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash

A Fairy Tale

One of our in-class poetry prompts was to take a translated poem and translate it in our own way. I chose Salma Khadra Jayyusi’s A Tale.

I have no father-in-law
I'm sure he exists
He sleeps, fucks my mother-in-law
(Hopefully she's a nice lady and will treat me well)
He showers, and is a good Christian.

A good Christian is rare in this country
Hypocrites, the lot of them
God knows the cross I bear
Would make the Virgin Mary cry

Wonder how many brothers and sisters
He fathered before my husband
Natural, illegitimate, aborted.
My husband has a 50/50 chance
of mirroring my father-in-law
A hypocritical Christian
An honest atheist
A good father to his real kids
A bad musician in the car

Someone is playing a game
In the house that I grew up in
The house where I thought
A marriage would free me
My castle, my abode, the place
I thought I'd never leave
Pry the deed from my cold, dead hands
The house where AJ scratched my cheek

My people are maids
My people eat bratwurst
My people make wine
My people run with the bulls
My people dance with dragons
My people conceal carry in the dark.
laurel

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