Fixation

By HALA ALYAN

 

It’s like knowing there’s
a house on fire and only
you  have  the  key,  but
there’s  no  address,  the
streets   keep   changing
numbers,   and   if   you
don’t  make  it  in  time,
everybody   inside   dies.
Even   the   houseplants.
You  never  make  it  in
time.    I still   like   my
brain.    This    feels   as
impossible   as    crown
shyness, but it’s true—I
feel  its  lure flash like a
camera bulb sometimes,
the magic  and the grief
like two  rivers  necking
where they meet.

 

Hala Alyan is a Palestinian American writer and clinical psychologist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Poetry, Guernica, and elsewhere. Her poetry collections have won the Arab American Book Award and the Crab Orchard Series competition. Her debut novel, Salt Houses, was published in 2017 and was the winner of the Arab American Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her second novel, The Arsonists’ City, was recently published. Hala lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dog.

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Fixation

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