By: Clara Rabbani

The West,

To me,

Is Capoeira.


And filled with


It is

The macaws

Of the Amazon.

And the macaques

Of the tamarind trees.

In the West,

I string words together like


Chew them in my mouth

Like the husks

Of amendoim.

It stays

On my lips

Like the taste

Of coffee beans.

In the West

I walk on wet clay

That stains

Like açaí.

Like açaí,

The West is bitter-sweet.


Like the shells

Of things I break apart

With my hands.

Look inside.

And repeat.

The West, to me,

Stings like the bite

Of something I never see.

Yet, I’ve grown to love the

Sweat and tears

Of distant familiarity.