Burning Sage

Sido’s prayer beads gone missin must be the jinn
Sido mad his prayer beads gone missin must be the jinn
Sito ain’t round no more to fetch it for him

Sido never could stand it when she said somethin smart
Sacred Sido would say somethin so Sito never said nothin smart
Crazy hurryin like an old lay with a rattlin shoppin cart

Sido always talkin for her cuttin her voice to a mummer a hymn
Chokin words out a good woman’s mouth gotta be—gotta be a sin
Shhh must be must be the jinn

Sito woke up every mornin to boil Sido eggs
Sido never say nothin, no thank ya, or wakin up day after day
Boil eggs day after goddamn day

Now we round
Sito’s body burnin sage
When Sito talk—stories like cumin stuck in my head
Sido always yellin at Sito voices stuck in my head
Like cumin stuck in my head

How loud she got
Now that she dead

—In Rammoun, a rural village in Palestine,
sito means “grandma” and sido means “grandpa.”


Megan Milks is the author of Margaret and the Mystery of the Missing Body (Feminist Press, 2021), a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in transgender fiction, as well as Slug and Other Stories and Remember the Internet: Tori Amos Bootleg Webring.

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