• “Psalm Under Seige”

    A Poem by Khaled Mattawa

    Speak the body’s thrift, the blood
    and breath sustained by a candle
    flame, remembrances

    encircle like moths. No seagulls
    when fishermen return
    empty-handed to Arwad.

    Locust-ravaged Idlib fields,
    the dry wells of Daraa. Candle
    light or soul—what else to call

    what remains alive in me, how
    it shrinks like an iris blinded
    by death’s blazing noon.


    Khaled Mattawa, Fugitive Atlas

    From Fugitive Atlas by Khaled Mattawa. Used with the permission of Graywolf Press. Copyright © 2020 by Khaled Mattawa.

    Khaled Mattawa
    Khaled Mattawa
    Khaled Mattawa is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Fugitive Atlas and Tocqueville, and is the translator of nine books of contemporary Arabic poetry, including Saadi Youssef's Without an Alphabet, Without a Face.

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