Psalm of departure
Locusts wrap the sun in gauze,
the river swallows its banks.
No pleasure but seeing the no-
king crop here, the no-fields,
a petrified forest where twins were slain.
Someone will follow a bird.
The work of fire never ends:
Djinn build cities of mirage,
the poor stand waiting by the shore.
Signs made of stardust and spider
thread. Any way you measure it,
the difference will be a road.
Read five poems from Khaled Mattawa in the print edition of The Arkansas International 5.
Khaled Mattawa currently teaches in the graduate creative writing program at the University of Michigan. His latest book of poems is Tocqueville (New Issues, 2010). A MacArthur Fellow, he is the current editor of Michigan Quarterly Review.