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Boori Bit | Sara El Sayed

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

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