Psalm Under Siege, by Khaled Mattawa

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From Fugitive Atlas, a poetry collection, which was published in October 2020 by Graywolf Press.

Speak the body’s thrift, the blood
and breath sustained by a candle
flame, remembrances

encircle like moths. No seagulls
when fishermen return
empty-handed to Arwad.

Locust-ravaged Idlib fields,
the dry wells of Daraa. Candle
light or soul—what else to call

what remains alive in me, how
it shrinks like an iris blinded
by death’s blazing noon.

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