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Until You Are Prosecuted

By Hanan Kholoussy

PROMPT — I will not rest until ...

I will not rest until you are prosecuted

after you let that girl be persecuted

for the crime you executed

all of you

against her

How insecure must you be

to gang up on her

and take turns on her

after you drugged her


Would you rather not

one who willingly wants

you and what you got

who you didn’t have to knock

out to do

For despite all your power

all your connections

all your vouchers

and all of your protections

your insecurity remains

The people who protect you

must have been the ones who hurt you

for you to do this to the one underneath you

and the one who carried you

and to all of us for we are all her

You created a whole system

to ensure your power

Is it so fragile your kingdom

that you must insist to deflower

her and make the rest of us victims

Is it because we have the power

to bring life into this world

one that is only ours

despite your privileges unreserved

you are cowards

It can never be known

if the children we carry

are yours and yours alone

but we will always know

because it is our body and ours alone

That must be why you’re so insecure

It would make me too for sure

But instead of trust her

You choose to oppress her

and the rest of us too

Wouldn’t you rather one

who can help you and support you

who wants you inside her undone

rather than fear you

as we all do


Hanan Kholoussy is an author and associate history professor at the American University in Cairo where she teaches histories of the Middle East, wellness and gender. She earned her PhD from New York University and MA and BS from Georgetown University. Her academic publications have focused on modern Egyptian history. She shares her poetry on Instagram @honeybehealing. Hanan writes from Cairo, Egypt.


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