Staring at the green stuck on my finger, I was judging the sagging piece of coriander for allowing shades of ginger in its body. You were standing with your back towards me, putting shredded meat into the pressure cooker that we both had paid for at walmart. The sweat on your neck was like crystals and I wondered if you were just hot or hot for me. I could smell lentils bathing in their own liquid and decided to leave your skin alone. I was hot for you.
The salt in your cooked onion was too strong and I could feel it under my eyelashes, the pink steam from the pressure cooker was now welling up and you were staring at your plate, avoiding yellow lentil mush same as you avoided my hennaed hands. You had chosen the chandelier and the humping cat skeleton design that covered the backside of my hands, all the way up to my forearms. I forced my teeth to bite my tongue and the blood felt like a release from breathing. I suggested we go to the city dock after eating and you let our knees touch for a minute before suggesting I wear my anti-mosquito bracelet that you got for me from home depot. I had asked for one in red but they didn’t have it so you had gotten me a pink one. You felt it was a more than appropriate color choice.
There were dead cotton shoes floating in the dark sea water and I could see tiny fishes fighting to survive the plastic shoe laces. A hug was more than comfort, it was death and salt like stale tears. You took out your iphone and took a picture of me and I had two stomachs so I made you delete it. The shawl around my waist and throat was the same one that I had seen at the Egyptian marketplace on our first date when I told you I was Palestinian, you surprised me with it on valentine’s day. You were so proud of yourself for giving me something from “my” heritage.
The next day you drove us to Planned Parenthood for the abortion and left me there. You brought two chicken shawarmas when you came to pick me up. You said both of them were for me. The car was warm and my blood was warmer, it was hot for your car seat. Your breath smelled like charcoal bread and as you drove to cvs, I wondered if my new birth control pill would give me severe acne.
Nooks Krannie is a Palestinian/Persian female writer from Canada. Her work has appeared in Entropy, Eunoia Review, Alien Mouth, The Airgonaut and other online and print journals. She tumbls at nkrannie.tumblr.com and instagrams @nookskrannie.
Image: Derick Anies