These poems first appeared in the September, 2012 issue of B O D Y
DAUGHTER OF WOMANFadia is — her father is martyr. She is On a mountain — radiant — unknown. Says, There will be no setting up tent here: This light enough resting place. Fadia prophesizes wind for fifty days. When long ago she built the perfect home of lights & Stars to navigate — comes envy. What if Ishmael never found Way to her home? Or, another desert of no lemon & orange orchard. Clementine the size of small fists. Fadia says, In a backyard of Tomatoes. No horses or goats here, My father left them by the house. An Arab squats by sand telling Of Fadia’s father, martyr.
OUT FROM BETWEEN TWO CROUCHING MASSES OF THE WORLD THE WORD LEAPT
Ishmael is too two men sometimes. His
Mother’s name in Arabic goes for immigrated
Masculine. She was not masculine, to remember her
Truly. She was treated, had heavy work, even
Struck. Or maybe, her deeds were as incense beautiful.
Here is her recompense: from hand to lap
To desert in a water puddle she found. Ishmael
Has been called many things—to be redeemed,
Or be carnal & natural, a mere exile. Ishmael
Is two of many, significant.
SIWAR MASANNAT is a Jordanian poet living in the US. She holds an MFA from George Mason University. She is the co-founder and co-editor of Gazing Grain, an inclusive feminist chapbook press. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Handsome, New Orleans Review, The Journal, and Gargoyle, among others. Her manuscript, 50 Water Dreams, was selected by Ilya Kaminsky for the 2014 Cleveland State University First Book Prize.