Left in the Sun by Belal Mobarak

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy

She sold corn, lupin, and sesame paste
swirled in molasses

with a mouth full of brittle teeth,
skin the color of a drought, pale dust
and a green line tattooed her chin
with circles on both sides,
                         a caterpillar stretched thin,

on a sunlit street
with a piece of cardboard swinging
like wings above date trees,
palms face God, trembling

like driftwood, traveling down the Nile
towards the North

selling molasses and raisins
the only things we should have left in the sun to dry.

Photo of Belal Mobarak

Photo of Belal Mobarak

Belal Mobarak was born in Alexandria, Egypt. Raised in Queens. He is the middle child and the son of a great storyteller. Writing is how he learned to finish his stories, and poetry is how he learned to tell them with the least amount of words possible. Recently selected as a finalist in Brutal Nation’s Competition for Writers of Color, you can find his work published in Columbia Poetry Review, Newtown Literary, Blueshift Journal, Flock, Apogee, and others. He currently works for Higher Education in New York City. You may find more of his work here.