Learning the Ancestors’ Tongues and Other Poems


Learning the Ancestors’ Tongues

an Arabic simultaneity poem to be read in two voices, from right to left and left to right

—for Marwa Helal

you want to learn I
more me knowing


                                    place one in accord with all were they


know I than
myself


             wind mighty rushing of as heaven from sound a came there suddenly and


language this
me inside


                          sitting were they where house the all filled it and


flames in ancestors dear
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