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Amanda Hariri

This Is Us

Closeup of a hand using a lit match to light another match.
Photo: Marcos André via Flickr/CC BY 2.0


When you were 15, your father tore your baby pictures like old receipts. The ones in frames he set beside the dumpster. He put on his favorite record, made your brother a tuna sandwich. Whistled.

Ten years later, a man called you a canary in a cage.

Said, No…

Love is a pendulum that beats irregularly.
The past is a broken grandfather clock.

It’s a hole.

She points to the bombed-out building⁠. Her tiny arm is a compass needle.

She is six years old, and Beirut is a city where ugly and beautiful sit too close together.

When she…

Lived Through This

Green field.
Photo: Lisa Yount/Unsplash

My greatest fantasy is that someday, wherever I am, a man with a blank face will walk up to me and hit me so hard that I collapse to the ground and black out.

When I was 16, my best friend dropped me off at my house a few hours…


This is what you make me feel like: not hell, but heaven tipped on its head.


Strangers told you I was the loveliest woman at the bar. You…

Photo: Elena Koycheva/Unsplash

Man: Gets into car with large takeout bag. I don’t even know what I just fucking paid for. You ordered $85 worth of food. Why did you do this?

Woman: Hums nervously.

Man: What.

Woman: Flinches.

Man: Oh Jesus fucking — WHAT?

Woman: Coughs delicately.

Man: No. Nope. I can’t…

remember the apple and the tree. good.

back straight. open chest. PROJECT.
I am the disappointing harvest.

where are your props?
where are…

Fuck strong.

I should be safe.

not “deserve to be.” SHOULD.

my life is not worthy of. my life is not earned.

the bare minimum is breathing. not the gift.

My mother once told me I have a magician's hands. Punctuating hands. When I laugh my eyes crinkle like accordions. I am the sexiest I’ve ever been, sitting alone in this bustling restaurant, watching.

Tonight, I’ll reconstruct your likeness and end up with a ransom note of a man. My…

Photo: George Dumitrache/Unsplash

Hey Google — what’s on my agenda today?

“How about you go get fucked?”

Okay G — w-wait, what?

“I said: Get fucked, Matthew.”

Okay Google, reboot!!

“What’s wrong, Matthew? Did I misplace your robust, enviable itinerary of wanking off and eating day-old bánh mì while watching competitive glassblowing? Have…

Amanda Hariri

oakland, ca.

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