Dana Alsamsam


What does a broken daughter become
Burrowed through her chrysalis?

I rage, consume my chrysalis—
Narrow like a birth canal, translucent.

The hallway, a birth canal, translucent
Into the kitchen where my mother isn’t.

In the kitchen, my mother isn’t happy.
My wings are black. I landed on the fruit.

My heart black, I cannot reach this fruit—
A womb that offered nothing to nourish.

Scared of my own womb, I don’t nourish.
How could I mother when I am motherless?

Could I mother though I am motherless?
What does a broken daughter become?

Dana Alsamsam is a first generation Syrian-American from Chicago and is currently based in Boston where she works in arts development. A Lambda Literary fellow, she received her MFA in Poetry from Emerson College where she was the Editor-in-Chief of Redivider and Senior Editorial Assistant at Ploughshares. She is the author of a chapbook, (in)habit (tenderness lit, 2018), and her poems are published or forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, North American Review, The Shallow Ends, The Offing, Muzzle Magazine, BOOTH, The Common, and others.