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I draw a star in the sand with my brother’s index finger.
I tell him “It is mine.”


Father reminds me I cannot possess the world
I invent if I use someone else’s nail.


Waves splashing on rocks, and I’ve been meaning to ask:
When waves crash, do they die


and go to heaven? A sudden change,
for a snail, is movement that takes place


under three seconds. There are no fingers
on snails, and you will not see them


drawing octagons in the sand claiming shells. Here
it matters who can smile, wave, or bow.


“What world, dad? It is a drawing on the ground.”
At night, my brother comes out


holding a candle. He sleeps on the shore
beside his world. He finds at daybreak


half imprinted on his face. The other
half rolls back on soiled rocks.

Nada Faris received an Arab Woman Award from Harper’s Bazaar Arabia in 2018 for her impact on Kuwait’s creative landscape. Author of three international books, Faris is an Honorary Fellow in Writing at Iowa University’s International Writing Program (IWP) Fall 2013, and alumna of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) April 2018: Empowering Youth Through the Performing Arts. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, and her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in: The Norton Anthology for Hint Fiction, Nimrod, Sukoon, One Jacar, Amethyst Review, The Operating System, Indianapolis Review, and more.