My Sentimental Afternoon


Around me, the stubborn trees. Here
I was sad and not sad, I looked up
at a caravan of clouds. Will you ever
speak to me again, beyond
my nightly resurrections? My desire
displaces, is displaced. The sun
unrolls black shadows
which halve me. I stand
very still so as not to startle
the song in the branches.
It’s true: I am learning to believe
there are beautiful things
never meant for me.

Leila Chatti is a Tunisian American poet and author of Deluge—winner of the 2021 Levis Reading Prize and the 2021 Luschei Prize, and longlisted for the 2021 PEN Open Book Award—and four chapbooks. She lives in Cincinnati and teaches in Pacific University’s MFA program.

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My Sentimental Afternoon

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