by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
I know you’ll fly, even on the delicate days,
even as I practice for the next ending, this clamoring,
marled winter ocean. This is not melancholy,
only a new country where I am, again,
immigrant, itinerant notebook, nimbostratus.
Once I served
as your home
and still I reorder these bones you no longer need
for shelter, the wandering rib
the molars fracturing
the tarsal cluster anchoring me
to earth. It is possible, always
remember it is possible,
to cleave your own life
from the bedraggled structures where it resides,
to let it break
on the wind, a spectacular
banner, a brilliant crystalline song.
LENA KHALAF TUFFAHA is the author of Water & Salt, winner of the 2018 Washington State Book Award, and Arab in Newsland, winner of the 2016 Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize. Her poems have been published in Barrow Street, Michigan Quarterly Review, New England Review, TriQuarterly, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day feature. Her essays and book reviews have been published in The Rumpus, Kenyon Review Online, World Literature Today, and Poetry Northwest. Her chapbook, Letters from the Interior, is forthcoming in Fall 2019 from Diode Press.
Photo: “Crystalline” by Charly Wee