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



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 most recent poetry collection is Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance (Milkweed Editions, 2018).