The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Letters from the Interior by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

Miss Sahar Listens to
Fairuz Sing “The Bees’ Path”

If you’re going to go,
if you’re going to scorch this heart
and leave a desert in your absence,
tell me now and I’ll follow the bees.

If you’re going to scorch this heart,
I’ll hem the horizon in solitude.
Tell me now and I’ll follow the bees
inside the anemones scarring the hillside.

I’ll hem the horizon in solitude,
the light lengthening, breaking
inside the anemones scarring the hillside.
I’ll spiral beneath the dome of the sky.

The light lengthening, breaking,
this moment gathered around us
as I spiral beneath the dome of the sky.
Spring is a ravishment forever dying dying dying.

This moment gathered around us is
honey and wild greens and the promise
of ravishment forever dying dying dying.
We’re just another love song, remembered or forgotten.

Honey and wild greens and the promise
of losing you in the desert of what happens next.
We’re just another love song, remembered or forgotten.
Will you stay until the anemones fold back into the land?

Will you stay until the anemones fold back into the land
or leave a desert in your absence?
Are we just another love song, remembered or forgotten?
Tell me now and I’ll follow the bees.


This selection comes from the book, Letters from the Interior, available from Diode Editions.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Ghoshal.

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha is a poet, essayist, and translator. Her first book, Water & Salt (Red Hen Press) won the 2018 Washington State Book Award. Her chapbook, Arab in Newsland, won the 2016 Two Sylvias Press Prize. She is the recipient of a 2019 Artist Trust Fellowship and has served as the inaugural Poet-In-Residence at Open Books: A Poem Emporium, in Seattle. She holds a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington and an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. She has been published in Barrow Street, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Kenyon Review Online, Michigan Quarterly Review, New England Review, TriQuarterly, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day feature.

Sarah Ghoshal’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Arsenic Lobster, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Empty Mirror, Red Savina Review and Broad! Magazine, among others. Her chapbook, Changing the Grid, is available from Finishing Line Press. She earned her MFA from Long Island University and teaches at Montclair State University. Sarah lives in New Jersey with her husband, her ten month old daughter and her dog Comet, who flies through the air with the greatest of ease.

 

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