The last bees form a cloud that fills/ the sky. One dies and then/ another, little motor of the brain/ kaput.
My kneecap is a magnet for mosquitos./ They assemble under the picnic pavilion/ And form a small cloud.
Mary Ann Samyn talks about her first encounters with Emily Dickinson's work, her best advice for writing students, and her new collection.
She tells them to believe/ that above all,/ life has been made possible/ only by love.
This is a good time/for abandonment, dear silent,/ cold universe with stairs/that go nowhere,/ where are you taking me?
In your nightmare, you walk slowly underneath an umbrella made out of human/ bones.
My daughter’s sleep/ wave machine/ becomes a granular datum of cheer
Perhaps my need to appear/ happy at all times comes from a fear/ of my true thoughts and desires.
Will some lightly clapping hands remain/ in places where death walked through?
The house is endless only in its emptiness, so vast/ there seemed trapped the wind itself.
Ritvo refuses to wade with us in our fruitless investigation of life's meaning. Instead, he gives us poetry: affirming, beautiful, and mortal.
Translations from Arabic by Ali Znaidi of Asma Jelassi's "The Metamorphosed" and Widad Nabi's "This Place is Lit With Memory."