Jan/Feb 2019 • Vol. XLI No. 1 PoetryJanuary 2, 2019 |

Checkpoint

each day I enter with open / papers & snake the coiled wires & barbed cattle chute / Qalandia / & bunker sand -bagged heads / to study the very ground / & watch oneself being watched / a ticking watch / other’s hands handing over to red-haired & fretting / Uzi itchy with questions & half a world / from his birth / a passportless plastic bag scuds & tumbles past border / its blue flag blessed by wind / O to be winged / & not locked in the fate of checkpoints outside the milk of oxygen / held up / outside the / in /no man’s / land / to lift outside gravity’s root & float in the matrix / the mind a stone / bones grinding themselves like teeth / in this mouth / vacuum-locked / suspended till he gloves back / the papers / aviators glinting back this alien’s alien face

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Philip Metres
Philip Metres is the author of The Sound of Listening: Poetry as Refuge and Resistance (2018), Pictures at an Exhibition (2016), Sand Opera (2015), To See the Earth (2008), and other books. A recipient of the Lannan, two NEAs, and two Arab American Book Awards, he is director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program and professor of English at John Carroll University. http://www.philipmetres.com

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