Copyright © 2019 Nur Hassanain. 
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Three Holes & A Gunshot


The Three Holes & A Gunshot Series encompass a number of free verse poems about gender equity and the struggles of being a woman. Inspired by honor killing in the Middle East, particularly Jordan and Lebanon's leading homicidal rates, "Three Holes" refers to a woman's physiological makeup & a "Gunshot" for these horrendous misfortunes.  All the pieces in this series can be found in the Poems & Essays section of this site, the most popular of which is below.


You grew up being taught
that inviting a passionate guest
to the rose where your legs part
somehow overlapped 
with the loss of honor. 
Some did not
cover that hole;
left it confidently open -
the way an infant's mouth
opens for a food plane;
the way the glass doors 
of the motel reception hall slid when you walked in,
fingers interlocked with his -
a cornerstone between your thighs
reminding you that "He was here"
They burned you, thrust you,

drilled their hate inside you
then buried you alive
for they could not 
take life away 
from a spirit so liberated.
Your uncle, father, and your brother,

they did it without proof
or verification of whether any refugees 
actually visited your sanctuary,

They did it under the name of


It somehow sufficed that his finger
your own blood -

pointed towards you like a compass
& called you a disgrace

before hiding the evidence away

like you were a filthy secret.
They took your right to
experience the complexity of this world

before you had the chance to ask: 

"What is honor?"
"And how can such an illusion
created by tradition
be taken away

for inviting a lover inside yourself?" - 
"And why are all the fingers pointed
towards the florists & not their customers?"