Speak the body’s thrift, the blood
and breath sustained by a candle
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.
From Fugitive Atlas by Khaled Mattawa. Used with the permission of Graywolf Press. Copyright © 2020 by Khaled Mattawa.