On Wearing a Tartan Hijab


It has many colours
Irn bru orange
Mehndi red
Mixed in with crossroads of valley greens and blue and Kashmiri tea pinks
Like an Ordnance survey map
Where maps end and memories begin
Inhabits my world
Like a sea striding the land
And estuaries encroaching the ocean
Of mixed up ideas and mixed kebabs
Where two tongues join, branch and intertwine
words become half in one tongue and half another
‘Okay khalas’
‘Habibi listen’
And the space between them,
Contested,
Demarcated,
Tense.
A measure like heights and weights of validation and integration
Ideas are thought up by one tongue and articulated in the other
Like when I try and tell them-
“I got the hijab fae Pollokshields”.

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