Alexandria’s mullet smells of nothing
if it is fresh. Al'iiskandaria, hidden
under yachts and clean table cloths, a brilliant watch
on hair netted arms, top buttons
loose on bottoms. Cough up
a bone in the club, lick
the shell clean, suck a leg
and leave your mess. A hook in the foot.
Blood runs quick to the sole
but slow at the crown. Hold her.
The boori girl below, out of school
in Al'iiskandaria. A bint is a girl
but a bit is different type of girl.
Drop the n and it’s quicker to spit
on her sly face, her curly
head so thick. See from your battered perch
lemon lipped and fingered on your napkin. Catch her.
The boori girl below, scaling
the rail. A hook in the foot.
Gut in the sink. A boori is a mullet
but fesikh is a different type of mullet.
Kept fermenting in glass
jars and brought out only at Springtime.
Press your nose to her head as you take
a bite. The jasmine is enough to cover
the stench if you keep your distance.
You will fish again. But for now
the boori girl, she smells of nothing.
A hook in the foot. A red trickle. Hold her
or she will slip back to class.
Sara El Sayed is a writer based in Meanjin (Brisbane). Her debut memoir, Muddy People, will be published by Black Inc. in 2021. Her work is anthologised in Growing Up African in Australia (Black Inc.) and Arab-Australian-Other (Pan Macmillan). She has been published in frankie, Overland and The Lifted Brow. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Richell Prize for emerging writers. She is currently a recipient of a Queensland Writers Fellowship. She was shortlisted for the 2020 Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award, and the 2019 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @sarakelsayed