Mar/Apr 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 2 Poetry |

The Reversal

A man who tries very hard to love me convinces me to leave, for the first time in days, my bed—to go outside to see the frozen lake. And, despite the grandeur of the vast white field, and the novelty of boys walking across it like novice deities, I am most interested in the geese. Look at them sleeping, I say, nodding to where they rest in a line along the edge of the ice, where the ice is turning back into water in imperceptible degrees, the heady blue encroaching. And I, still addled by grief, still immoderately exhausted by being alive, consider (who knows why my mind does anything it does) how the world could be flipped—blue lake for blue sky, birds and feathered hunks of ice like clouds — and I think then, naturally, of myself in this reversal, standing suddenly atop the firmament, one of heaven’s citizens, perhaps now an angel, perhaps someone waiting in the long queue to be seen. And I consider what this would mean for me, my options. Once, someone w

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Leila Chatti
Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and author of the chapbooks Ebb (Akashic Books, New-Generation African Poets Series) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya, the 2017 Editors' Selection from Bull City Press. She is the recipient of a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and fellowships and scholarships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Tin House Writers’ Workshop, the Key West Literary Seminar, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, where she is the 2017-2018 Ron Wallace Poetry Fellow. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, The Georgia Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, Narrative, and elsewhere.


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Prelapsarian

By Leila Chatti

A man who tries very hard to love me convinces me to leave, for the first time in days, my bed—to go outside to see the frozen lake. And, despite […]

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