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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 in 2018 from Harper Bazaar Arabia for her impact on Kuwait’s creative sector. She is an Honorary Fellow in Writing at Iowa University’s International Writing Program (IWP) Fall 2013, and an alumna of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) April 2018: Empowering Youth Through the Performing Arts. She is the author of three books; and her poems, essays, and short stories have been published in Nimrod, Sukoon, The Indianapolis Review, Norton's Anthology for Hint Fiction, and elsewhere.

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