Meeting Jibreel

Majda Gama

“Meeting Jibreel” is the honourable mention for Room’s Poetry Contest 2020, as selected by judge Canisia Lubrin.

In my Quranic primer of short, & long, verses
I scrawled in the margins with metallic ink.
I learned the name of an angel, as my body
Shaped a conduit from aya to hand to pen.
I grounded pre-teen words like “cool” & “ok”
While the class chanted the story of visitation
Beneath a palm tree. A woman name Maryam
& the winged Malak whose message
Must have knocked her into his feathered arms
Without doubt or hesitation because Jibreel
Was the messenger & the body of a man together.
I understood as the fusha Arabic fell from
The tongues of all of us, dozens of girls in white.
My eyes semi-closed as palm fronds breathed
& desert sand cooled hot limbs—
Transported by our harmonics—
When the bell rang & our door opened
To the world, light descended as
Fully fledged wings & entered us.

 

Here’s what judge Canisia Lubrin had to say about Majda Gama’s Meeting Jibreel: “Until its last mystifying line where the whole is brought into astonishment, the poem makes a counter-knowing of itself. Such astute balance is its quietly observed ways of loosening the body from its ego. And what lets this shifting trick the mind into letting logic slip past the speaker’s off-kilter way of seeing? That thing makes the poem sing. That’s the thing about the poem’s impressive tranquility.

Majda Gama is a Beirut-born, Saudi-American poet based in the Washington DC area. Her poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Cordite, Nimrod, The Normal School, and Wildness. Majda is a Pushcart nominee, an honourable mention in the 2020 RHINO Founder’s Prize, and a 2020 New Issues Poetry Prize finalist. 

Pre-order Our Next Issue

Room 45.2 Cover

ROOM 45.2 TIPPING POINT
Edited by Lue Palmer
Assistant Edited by Micah Killjoy
Shadow Edited by Ruchika Gothoskar and Omi Rodney

In This Issue: Eberechukwu Peace Akadinma, N.B., Manahil Bandukwala, Chief Lady Bird, Myriam J.A. Chancy, .chisaraokwu., Michelle Contant, Morgan Cross, Jaki Eisman, Ava Fathi, Maria Ford, Jennifer A. Goddard, Michelle Good, Ruchika Gothoskar, Jonsaba Jabbi, Sneha Subramanian Kanta, Micah Killjoy, Moe Kirkpatrick, Lydia Kwa, Margo LaPierre, karen lee, Lynn Hutchinson Lee, Y.S. Lee, Annick MacAskill, Kama La Mackerel, Sarah McPherson, Michie Mee, Zoë Mills, Lue Palmer, Emily Riddle, Alana Rigby, Omi Rodney, Edythe Rodriguez, Victoria Spence Naik, Unimke Ugbong, Nadia Van, semillites hernandez velasco, Dr. Njoki Wane, Yilin Wang, Jenny Heijun Wills, Lacey Yong, Dr. Rachel Zellars, Zhang Qiaohui

Currently on Newsstands

ROOM 45.1, Ancestors
Edited by Serena Lukas Bhandar

In This Issue: Yasmine Ameli, Manahil Bandukwala, Elena Bentley, Meagan Berlin, Serena Lukas Bhandar, Emily Chan, Kathy Crabbe, Asheda Dwyer, francesca ekwuyasi, Mercedes Eng, Lucy Zi Wei Fang, Juliette Blake Jacob, Jessica Jane Khuu, Melissa Kuipers, Holly Lam, Arshiya Malik, Samantha Martin-Bird, Victoria Mbabazi, Nicole Nanayaa M’Carthy, Erin McGregor, Kristin Michelle, Zamina Mithani, Haley Montgomery, Mridula Morgan, Tiffany Morris, Madalyn Murray, Sofia Navarro, Faith Paré, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Maryam Rafiee, Deepa Rajagopalan, Remy Ramirez, Romila, Trish Salah, Jane Shi, jessica ainsli todd, Sara Truuvert, Maneesa Veeravel, Anne Walk, Syrus Marcus Ware, Adrienne Weiss, Evelyn C. White

Join us on Patreon

Become a RoomMate!

Announcing Room’s New Membership Program
Seeking: RoomMates who love literature, events, merchandise, and supporting marginalized creators!

 

Subscribe to our newsletter

Be the first to know about contests, calls for submissions, upcoming events.

* indicates required

Visit our Store

Share This