Gheith Al-Amine: Two Poems

James Flynn, UV reactive acrylic on panel, 2019. Source: insidenola.org

SHAMSUDDIN OF THE ULTRAVIOLET

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Mohammad Shamsuddin left the blue planet

after he played Death for a long time,

thinking he’d fooled it for years.

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At the demise of every year,

he would stall Azriel

with offerings cut off his living flesh.

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Alexander Booth: from “Insulae”

Harry Gruyaert, Tokyo, 1996. Source: magnumphotos.com

At least one of the panes in the warped and brittle frame was cracked enough to need a newspaper. You never bothered to replace it. From the desk, you looked across a small patch of gravel at another rowhouse, another upstairs window. Sometimes, a face would appear between the curtains, then vanish. You didn’t know it, but just a few years before a poet had died just a few doors up the street. The Greek Revival is brittle, and brick. The room is yellow and small and has a ceiling fan. On the wall, there’s a thriftstore reproduction of Goya’s little boy in red with all his birds and cats, next to him, a postcard of a coffin.

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