Gheith Al-Amine: Two Poems

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

SHAMSUDDIN OF THE ULTRAVIOLET

Mohammad Shamsuddin left the blue planet
after he played Death for a long time,
thinking he’d fooled it for years.

At the demise of every year,
he would stall Azriel
by offerings cut off his living flesh.

Seven years went by,
and still he stalled the angel.

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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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