Khaleej Times #1

By REWA ZEINATI

the war drove us out—
and into my father’s used white sedan—
a school drop-off I’d hoped none
of the other kids would notice—

(their engines a roar of paid drivers).
everyone was from somewhere else

even the locals we called lawakel,
even if they were someone we could never be.

summer months went on
for years—this is a city,

we were told, and we almost
believed it—this is how sand

becomes gold, we were taught,
and we almost envied it.

and every december, around christmas,
we’d turn the chiller all the way up

and pretend it was winter.
this was my brother’s idea—

to hide under the covers
and wait for the gifts.
  

 

Rewa Zeinati is the recipient of the 2020 Edward Stanley Award for poetry, the founding editor of Sukoonmagazine, and the author of the poetry chapbook Bullets & Orchids. Her poems and essays are found in a number of national and international journals and anthologies. She lives and works in Metro Detroit.

[Purchase Issue 22 here.] 

Khaleej Times #1

Related Posts

image of a plastic bag caught in a tree.

Translation: Albanian Women Poets

VLORA KONUSHEVCI
Croatia produces a truly royal confectionary / used on special occasions, although some call / it an Ustasha’s chocolate, made in Zagreb by / widows who fed their wounded husbands / to the hungry war deity in Vukovar. / Bosnia’s cevaps are sinfully delicious.

Image of a statue of a woman wearing a dress in white against a beige background, cover of Ama Codjoe's poetry collection.

September 2022 Poetry Feature: Ama Codjoe—from BLUEST NUDE

AMA CODJOE
When my mother was pregnant, she drove / every night to the Gulf of Mexico. / Leaving her keys and a towel on the shore, / she waded into the surf. Floating / naked, on her back, turquoise waves / hemming her ears, she allowed / the water to do the carrying.

view of valley from mountain

August 2022 Poetry Feature: Nathan McClain—from PREVIOUSLY OWNED

NATHAN MCCLAIN
Had I not chosen to live there— / among the oaks and birches, / trees I’d only ever seen in poems / until then…spruce, pine, / among the jack-in-the-pulpit / (though I much preferred “lady slipper”) / the tiger lily, milkweed, the chickadee / and blue jay, even the pesky squirrel