Winter 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 1 Poetry |

Ladies and Gentlemen

… the easiest pain is someone else's, And even the Hittites Kept their nuclear weapon a sole possession For as long as they could. But it's been a bit much to take since then, One exodus after another, Like getting used to the life of Frequent flyer miles Without ever cashing them in. Ladies & gentlemen, Life will get old soon And death has long been part of the treatment plan. What's the use of a flag Without a land that believes In poetry and no more Contused waters to cross? It's nothing special this waiting For what will never be One's own twice. A flesh wound merely, An eggplant bruise of a myth. Ladies & gentlemen, my friends Of the jury, if you were born in Tokyo Would you be Japanese? Or Athens, Georgia, or Rome, Ohio, Or the land of cactus wind Where the one-eyed are many: Why Do they call the Black Sea, black? Because it's always mourning the Dead one. What doesn't evaporate burns.

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Fady Joudah was the recipient of the Griffin International Poetry prize in 2013. His latest poetry collections are Alight and Textu, from Copper Canyon Press. Textu is written in meter based on the character count of smart phones. He is a practicing physician of internal medicine.

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