Spring 2006 • Vol. XXVIII No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 2006 |

I Scandalize Myself

Translated from the Arabic.   I must tell my fatherthat the only man for whom "desire shatters me"looks exactly like him, and tell my friendsthat I have different pictures of myself,all true, all me,that I will distribute among them one at a time. I must tell my lover"Be grateful for my infidelities.Without themI would not have waited all this timeto discover the exceptional void in your laugh." As for meI am almost certainthat I scandalize myselfin order to hide behind it.

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Khaled Mattawa currently teaches in the graduate creative writing program at the University of Michigan. He is the author of four books of poetry and a critical study of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Mattawa has coedited two anthologies of Arab American literature and translated many volumes of contemporary Arabic poetry. His awards include the Academy of American Poets Fellowship Prize, the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and a MacArthur Fellowship. He is the current editor of Michigan Quarterly Review.

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