Published on Academy of American Poets (

Isdoud (for Fady Joudah)

dear descendant
of the dis
appeared you ascend

the pillar
of your own air
spin & span

whole abysses
with lines
translating there

to here & here
to where
wind winds

in dry wadis
hoists sea
in handful

after invisible
isdoud now

your e-mail address
& digital image
of branches

through windows
within school ruins
a refugee points

with his cane
to what he
only can see

you argue against
the argument
against your

self you
yourself make
& home in

kiss my blind
eyes clear
close keyholes

with opening
homeland you
cradle in vowels

what was not
never yours
I’ll hold it here

till you return


Copyright © 2019 Philip Metres. This poem originally appeared in Kenyon Review, January/February 2019. Used with permission of the author.


Philip Metres

Metres is the author of four poetry collections: Pictures at an Exhibition (University of Akron Press, 2016); Sand Opera (Alice James Books, 2015); A Concordance of Leaves (Diode Editions, 2013), winner of the 2014 Arab American Book Award; and To See the Earth (Cleveland State University Press, 2008).

Date Published: 2019-01-07

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