Jannah Yusuf Al-Jamil

On SAWAYAMA, Rina is emblazoned in gold, eyes staring
         straight forward and bronzed nails tapping her lips and
she sings about excess, she is everything, she is paradise. When I was fourteen
        I went to a high school play for a date and watched Midas
turn his daughter into gold and wished that was me. Instead my papa is
        ferocious heat and pressure and I am the coal that refuses to
go diamond, easy as it would be. Sometimes I wish I could drink ichor, ichor, ichor, and
        sometimes I think that Icarus on his golden wings didn’t drown, he got burnt, and
I am a Liability, and you will watch me disappear into the sun, and
        I refuse to fall. When I was born, my uncle gave me a gold necklace with
my name in Arabic calligraphy that I wear still; the letter noon winks at you on
        my neck, hidden, but oh, I will be like the sun at noon, I will
be endless dhuhr and maghrib may have been my favorite prayer but that I refuse to
        let that be me, so pray for me, pray to me. When I was fifteen, my ma gave me
a gold bracelet that was hers when she was my age; when I was twelve, my mummy gave me
        a pair of black pearl earrings on gold that she used to wear. I broke both.
I broke both. Every year, my aunts wear all their jewelry on one day so
        they don’t have to pay alms for them. Sometimes
the only words I think I know are the verses I memorized when
        I was four years old: wa lam yaqul-lahu kufuwan ahad; nor is
there to Him any equivalent; God, I’m so tired of being a silver girl. I know that
        not all that glitters is gold, and I know that I don’t glitter, but I will be your golden child

‘cause I’ve thrown off all-argent depression and I’ve got a new career in business, baby, and
        I am gold, I am gold, I am gold

Jannah Yusuf Al-Jamil is a Muslim writer, a co-founder of antinarrative zine, and an enjoyer of bread. Find their work in the Lumiere Review, fifth wheel press, Overheard, IMPOSTOR, and at