Noor Naga: No One Walks Woman in Alexandria

Anti-harassment stencil graffiti by Keizer. The legend reads “Check yourself before we check you”. Source: tavaana.org

The men of this city make animal

sounds as if to say

I got a slaughter with your neck

      on it now how

you gonna walk with your psst-psst hidden

  all your psst-psst hiding

      from me

           and my tick-tick pointing

pants how now you gonna walk two-legged

with my panting your

          stiff sniffable neck and my smick-smack with my

bone back watching—

kareem they don’t look at me like they want to

fuck me they look at me like they want to kill me

—I’ve started crossing my arms in the June

street despite the bzzz-bzzz

swarming slick my thighs their sticky

the ick between my licky tits

this injury tailing me at eyelevel

this maleness tonguing thick—this arm

-crossing is not armor

kareem not a keeping or a steeling

not even theoretically protective—strict

apologetic—

oh tell them you braided my hair while I slept

don’t they know I have been loved in Arabic?