Fall 2016 (Volume 20, Issue II): 20th Anniversary Issue




The healer declared the need for a surgery
after inspecting my body, with his bony fingers he tied
amulets of holy writing around my wrists, opium scented
medicaments jingled behind his robe, he daubed a piece
of wool dipped in olive oil on my temple, Verse, he said,
is an illness of thought, God is suspicious of the poet
and her idle claims [26:224]*, a red-hot cutting instrument
scalped the roots of analogies, the skin of rhyme, a spoonshaped
probe explored the infection of syllables, steadily
he scraped the smell of blue, the taste of ghazal, and told
me not to touch the sutures, they were my destiny written
by God, to rub my perforated skull with powdered seeds
and pounded leaves, complete healing was possible, he said,
but a pulsation of something missing might manifest time
and again

* Sura 26 (The Poets), The Holy Quran

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