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Shovel Girl

by Morouje Sherif

Snap her wrists

into flowers

and drown her

in the Mississippi River.

Protocol unheard,

gashing out some blood

tinted yellow. Poor thing.

Where the eye meets the eye,

a girl dives into the trough

head-first, dirtying her

overalls. The blisters

on her palms like popcorn ruptured

skin. Every morning the same big and little words

spill out like desire. Mother’s in the kitchen and I can barely

see time on the counter. I want

applesauce. Like I always want more.

Like the embryos are rattling soil-deep to be freed.

She said Get out of the yard! So I went to take a look-see

and found Mojave in the face. Shaking my head,

I let her go on. I apologized, and went back to sleep feeding myself princess stories and lead.


Morouje Sherif is an Egyptian-Canadian writer and artist. Growing up in the Mediterranean, she has a vicarious thrill for feel-good compositions and the traverse of truth. Her work has appeared in The Poetry Society of the U.K., Foyle Young Poets of the Year, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, Subnivean, The Fish Barrel Review, Plum Tree Tavern, INKSOUNDS, Outlander Magazine, among others. In her free time, she enjoys gazing at the horizon.


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