• “If you read this and can hear me…”
    New Poetry by Fady Joudah

    “If you see me marvel / at mushrooms that devour plastic, / what do you observe?”


    If you read this and can hear me,
    what’s that smell? I, sour

    before sweet, pugnacious
    or placid, indentured
    or irrelevant to

    your solidarity, which won’t acknowledge
    the debt it owes to my resistance.

    If you see me marvel
    at mushrooms that devour plastic,
    what do you observe? Fungus,

    the new worm, like chandeliers
    they wed the earth, and everything you learn
    to make yours: father

    of origin, warlock of point
    and line, mother of the unsaid.

    If the spirit says, scream, I scream,
    you scream, we all scream
    for or against a genocide on livestream.

    When like a poppy I am shattered
    into your nostrils or milled
    within the hard exoskeleton
    of a pill the nation

    prescribes to you for my pain.
    Top conscience, I’m not okay.
    We’re not okay
    with your genocide bouquet.


    […] by Fady Joudah, is available now from Milkweed. NB, the poem above appears in the UK edition, available from Out-Spoken Press March 23 (cover below).

    Fady Joudah
    Fady Joudah
    Fady Joudah is a Palestinian American poet, translator, and physician. He has published several books. His latest poetry collection is Tethered to Stars from Milkweed, 2021. His latest translation is The Blue Light, the autobiographical fiction of Hussein Barghouthi, from Seagall Books, 2023.

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