“Then My Friend in Nablus Had a Dream.” New Poetry by Fady Joudah

“Everyone was fleeing / but he kept with his prayers.”

November 22, 2023  By Fady Joudah


Then my friend in Nablus had a dream.
The sun rose from the west

while he was praying
on a marble floor on fire.

Everyone was fleeing,
but he kept with his prayers,

felt only peace.
Then peace began to shake.
He was bound up in an iron cage

and tied to an animal
outside the cage. What animal?
It was no beast of burden.

And the beast yanked him
repeatedly into the bars
trying to get him out to no avail.

Did the animal want to free
my friend or eat him?
He wasn’t sure.

He was bloodied, bruised,
and it was November.
It was dawn, and time to pray.

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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