Poetry — December 16, 2014 10:32 — 0 Comments

Drowning – Lena Tuffaha

After Bei Dao’s “Toxin”


Autumn’s breath catches short

A mother’s window open to
light marbling in leaves
music of a world in vivid decay,
a lifeboat shedding its cargo

it’s yesterday’s currents, it’s love

sorrow dark and bottomless as the ocean
when a ship collides into the present
I take a moment to bury my hopes for tomorrow

give me another history

I’ve made a shroud of belonging
a refugee tent pitched in the mud of memory.


Lena Khalaf Tuffaha is a poet and translator. Most recently she translated the screenplay for the award-winning film When I Saw You. Her writing has been published in Turkey, Egypt, the United Kingdom and the United States in journals including Human, Magnolia, The Lake, Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art and Al-Ahram Weekly. She lives with her family in Redmond, Washington.

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What am I?

Bioluminescent eye
That sees by the shine
Of its own light. Lies

Blind me. I am the seventh human sense
And my stepchild,

Scientists can't find me.

Januswise I make us men;
Was my image then—

Remind me:

The awful fall up off all fours
From the forest
To the hours…

Tick, Tock: Divine me.

-- Richard Kenney