Hilary Plum: Abortion is Thinking. Thinking is Banned.

Nan Goldin, Amanda crying on my bed, Berlin, 1992. Source: nytimes.com 

When Roe fell, I felt what lots of people felt. My feelings were common.

I felt that the lives of everyone I knew had been made possible, in the forms we know as ourselves, by access to reproductive healthcare. Everyone, most especially women and trans and nonbinary people. The job I have—the shape and status and income and independence of my working life—was barely available to those of my mother’s generation and unheard of to my grandmother’s. This is all so obvious it’s almost embarrassing to state, but apparently these days we must. Contraception and abortion are perfectly material. But the profound ways that access to them shapes us—the structures of our relationships and workplaces and society and politics, the nature of our opportunities, our ideas of who we are—aren’t easy to quantify, or even to think.

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Gheith Al-Amine: Four Istanbul Poems

Sebastião Salgado, Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet), Istanbul, Turkey, 1999. Source: artsy.net

WE THE MORTALS

Away from what you leave behind

a five year old Amine in Guatemala

a tormented gaze in Ras Beirut

or bulging eyes missing the ceiling

eyelashes napping for eternity

your destiny awaits you.

Grief for the ones who cared

decomposition for your filaments

calcium your only index.

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Bola Opaleke: Songs and Dances as a Cosmopolitan Village

Hamed Nada (1924-1990), Untitled, 1963. Source: bonhams.com

In the endlessness of life’s cyclical wheel, in the dangerous neutrality of man’s mortal effulgence, and or the cowardly barricade of the conflictual rhythms of his existence, he often misappropriates songs without adequately supplying the right dances to them.

“Don’t sing a song,” he said. “If you cannot find the perfect dance for it.”

Those were the exact words by my father (translated from Yoruba) in 1991 after I’d told him I wanted to join the Nigerian Army so one day I could be a military president. Years later, I would still, in my head, shuffle the judgmental finality of his words, probe at its proverbial complexity and perplexity, and ultimately resign from that variegated prodding of the wheel that will never cease to turn. A song is a song is a song, and a dance is a dance is a dance. Period!

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