Winter 2024 • Vol. XLVI No. 1 Poetry |

Those Hours

I could say that my pleasure, beneath him,
was a meadow, dark in places, brighter 
in others, and that at the farthest edge
there grew pleasure’s
			more unruly varieties—
Rapture. Terror. But the plain
truth is that his touch first meant 
my power, then his, then mine again, 
then, soon enough, if not kindness,
		                       the illusion of kindness,
illusion that, for some time, had been enough.
Where I lie down tonight there is no field,
no other. There are the windows of this room 
and the windows, 
		    elsewhere, of other rooms. 
Photo of Safa Khatib

Safa Khatib is a poet and translator living in St. Louis. She is the author of Instances of Ishtar (Bloomsbury, 2024).

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Then I was again that vacant room. Guests were various: my death again and beautiful. Then again, in different dress. Once, in a jacquard suit tapped my goat-hoof, looking out […]

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