On the light switch,
her floury fingerprints,
the black receiver held
in a fist of bread.
Then words of wheat
across years of salt.
Morning of jasmine, earth-clot, bed of bone.
“Fate and faith will strum your cords,
your spinal rope fraying.”
She will also tell you why
the dream you’re hooked to
is flopping in the depths.
Afternoon of goodness, water of thought, magician of lack.
“A hundred voices will be lumped and balled
a music of tearing sounding from your throat.”
She will also tell you
how the soul will worm
its way to nourishment,
how a heart grows and
grows less like a heart.
Copyright © 2016 by Khaled Mattawa. Used with permission of the author.
Born in Benghazi, Libya, in 1964, Khaled Mattawa is a poet and translator of contemporary Arabic poetry. He served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2014 to 2020.
Date Published: 2016-05-05
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/revisiting-hekale