Spring 2011 • Vol. XXXIII No. 2 Poetry |

From ‘Diasporenga’

A collaboration in alternating renga After she died, he’d lie downon the great white bedwhere she used to combhis eyebrows with her fingersuntil he fell asleep. He’d waketo the early evening muezzin, the roasting freekah,and the poem:Sitting in a gardenropes of wisteria. Sitting on damp grass, she recites the Fatiha on Dickinson’s lawn. Slowly, her Anglophone friend repeats each verse after her. “When I go home, I’ll either build a house or buy a plot for a grave.” “Insh’allah, you’ll build a house. Keep that line for a poem.” Green house with large veranda, orange-black swirls on tulip tiles. Ibaa’ slices lemons, dips them into salt, smiles as the other women sing: “Tal’aa min beit âb’ouha.” In a few hours, she’ll wax her entire body. Lemon sores on tongue, newborn baby skin, A sore on his tongue, the accent he has now in his father’s language—again, a taxi driver asked him “Âîna darasta?” High-rise in Detroit, hos

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Deema Shehabi is a Palestinian-American poet whose work has appeared widely in anthologies and literary journals, including Literary Imagination, Massachusetts Review, New Letters, and Inclined to Speak: Contemporary Arab-American Poetry. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, and she currently resides in northern California with her family.
Marilyn Hacker is the author of twelve books of poems, most recently Names (W.W. Norton 2010), and of ten collections of poetry translated from French. She received the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation in 2009 for Marie Etienne’s King of a Hundred Horsemen. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a former editor of The Kenyon Review.

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A collaboration in alternating renga After she died, he’d lie downon the great white bedwhere she used to combhis eyebrows with her fingersuntil he fell asleep. He’d waketo the early […]

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