East & East By Majda Gama

East & East

From Wardour Street to down the King’s Road this city is a song
We walked where I knew no song but the hum of your presence
The cobbles of Whitechapel as haphazard as punched out teeth
The East End full of old murder and new anarchy
Brick Lane infused with the scent of the older world I leave you for
I did leave sandalwood on you my variation of the seal of Suleiman
Every hoopoe I saw in Arabia I sent as a messenger to you
As if feathers and precious oil could illuminate your dark places
And neon red hairs guide you through long nights of Dexy
I drink to your memory as if spirits could conjure that night back
The gold of West Country cider from bruised windfall apples
The urine colored swill of the punks who careen through Camden Town
Brighter to me now the fox kits gamboling on the graves of Highgate
I walk our path through London widdershins so that the past stays past
From the old shore of Southwark onto Waterloo Bridge in the new rain
Everyone bursts into song albeit at soft distances from one another

By Majda Gama


Majda Gama is Saudi-American poet based in the Washington, DC area where she has roots as a punk, DJ and activist. Two of her poems were picked by Ilya Kaminsky as honorable mentions in The Fairy Tale Review’s inaugural contest, other poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Gargoyle, Hunger Mountain, Mizna, War, Literature & the Arts and are forthcoming in Duende and the Hysteria anthology. As a transnational nomad living between East and West, Majda has permanent culture shock.

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