Fady Joudah

Survival Rate | 1st Love
April 8, 2014 Fady Joudah

Survival Rate

 

When at customs I don’t declare

what I brought into my country

from that other minor country

 

when in legacy mode

my teeth have grown too yellow

the surprise-hug of a carnivorous flower

 

I exploit the marasmic like photons

seen from a city under a full moon

Congo red

 

and get away with our

decolonized gut flora miasmatic

melismatic tempura time

 

A joke for a body moored to dislocation

when all the mouth can do is say

That’s-pretty-funny

 

Your eyes grabbed mine by the elbows

our fourth and sixth cranial nerves intact

after you’d pitched your face

 

in my shoulder for me to wander

your cheek and chin

and rose cemetery

 

This is variance in clinical features

of bombs strapped to the waist

We all have them

 

Red blood cells ants

released to circulate the body

until they die

 

 

1st Love

 

When God began you she

said to me one spring afternoon

God began

 

with your hands a woman’s hands

then reached your wrists

& made the rest of you man

 

Fady Joudah’s second collection of poetry, Alight, was published by Copper Canyon Press in winter 2013 and Textu is available as an ebook. His translations of Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry have earned him a PEN prize and a TLS/Banipal prize. He is the 2007 winner of the Yale Series Younger Poets Competition for his collection The Earth in the Attic. He is also the winner of  the 2013 Griffin International Poetry Prize. His translation of Ghassan Zaqtan’s poetry is available from Yale University Press.