I Want Sky

I Want Sky collects prose, poems, and hybrid work celebrating Egyptian activist Sarah Hegazy, and the lives of all LGBTQ+ Arabs and people of the SWANA region and its diaspora.

Published in a special partnership with Mizna, the notebook will also be available as a print issue in the fall of 2021, including pieces exclusive to that format. I Want Sky is guest-edited by Mariam Bazeed, with George Abraham serving as poetry editor.

With our existence contested, denied, stricken from history, it is no wonder it takes the evidence of other lives to confirm the solidity of our bodies under our fingers’ touch.

You desire a final frame / that suits and comforts, / a framing that supersedes / a death denied

and the woman in the mountain said /
my head is full of rocks / my mouth, ears, nose full of sand

had partner My .Survival for /
trip the for long hair their grown /
—love make to nervous too was I and

you are prepared for all of it. how the blood will smell. of you. of lavender. of the crown of a head.

We reveled in the way our unlikely friendships disturbed the world around us. In each other’s bodies, we found joy and brotherhood.

The sea’s sunlit hues, the model-like beach goers that crowd the snack bar, the fruit from the south that tastes of the earth—they are totally unremarkable to her.

to need sky / because you are sun / forgive forgive / the world is crueler / without you in it

my mother gives love / through the severity of / past and future tragedies

I kiss / you & the sands roam every valley to ride this / wind. I kiss you & suddenly we are home again

The better half of her four decades of life were marked by the ebbs and flows of relapse and remission, either sick, or about to be. Remission is life with an asterisk; conditional.

Years later, to my own surprise, I would recognize a strange person within myself. Had I known then how strange I was, what would I have done?

desperate / we deceived ourselves / this time it will be different / fooled by the coldest winter disguised / as spring

It can’t with words on paper / It can’t with words / It can’t

You hear Mama tell you / that you must be waiting for her to die to live your life.

I drive two hours to grieve a person I have never met, and my grief is a country without borders.

Should you die my beloved / I will become a dyke / cut my hair to the scalp / demand history to know wrong / is done if you are taken from me

I tried to be a good daughter / and tell the right story to the guests, who were / always listening from their window across the road.

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