Majda Gama is a Beirut-born, Saudi-American poet based in the Washington, DC area where she has roots as a DJ and activist. She has read her poetry at the San Francisco Lit Crawl and the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. Her poems have appeared in, or are forthcoming from Beloit Poetry Journal, Duende, Jahanamiya (the first Saudi feminist literary journal) Slice, The Normal School, The South Dakota Review, Wildness and the anthology of 90’s pop culture, Come As You Are. Majda reads and edits poetry submissions for Tinderbox.
It’s Not Me at the Border
Who said goodbye
in seven banned languages
to trees & seasons, temporal winds,
the air of home swallowed by breath
before it’s gone; shuffled into the hull
of a plane/boat/truck/train
in the blackest point of life
before the long leg of flight
towards a foreign border. It’s not me
awake for eighteen hours with cold
black tea & worry beads, or with sweat-
damp hands unwrapping a scarf from hair
in a gesture known throughout life. It’s not
me with hidden damask cloth, spice, honey,
roses: the body of a culture walking
up to America to stand at her
armed border with years of vetting
erased. It’s not me, it’s not
not me with a blue document at the border.
It’s not me walking through America’s
border. I am not.
America. I am
America. I am at your border.