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Tom Sleigh speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about his poems “Last Cigarette” and “Apology to My Daughter,” which appear in The Common’s fall issue. In this conversation, Tom talks about his time as a journalist in Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Kenya, Iraq, and Libya, and how that experience comes out in his poetry. He also discusses the process of putting together his new poetry collection from Graywolf, The King’s Touch, and how he sees the current Ukrainian refugee crisis playing out differently than crises in other parts of the world with less established infrastructure.
Podcast: Tom Sleigh on “Last Cigarette” and “Apology to My Daughter”
By TOM SLEIGH
1. Many desires, many secrets—that’s what the book said.
And it brought me to attention, watching the interior
branches of the pine trees swaying in a paranoid
whisper that reminded me of you standing over
me, your hand in my hand, your mind
not right but your whispering rebelling against
that hissing shhhh of what I couldn’t understand—