The Outer Rings of Saturn
                                                                        —Fady Joudah

Is disease a longing as acceleration is gravity?
This weekend the beaches are empty,

the weather perfect, you’re caught
between the pristine
and the poor having time to frolic.

Studies show that the jasmine
can’t let go of the rose bush

in your backyard but can do without the thorns.
Whatever your mourning, it’s an animal

not a constellation. If anything, you’re jubilee,
coffee in the morning, kids to school,

yoga, zumba, a paycheck sustained
on the rungs of payback. This afternoon,

you’d like to focus your gratitude
on the mailwoman who didn’t deliver

any news. And on the doctor
who complied with your demands.

photo: Cybele Knowles

photo: Cybele Knowles

Fady Joudah has published four collections of poems, The Earth in the AtticAlightTextu, a book-long sequence of short poems whose meter is based on cellphone character count; and, most recently, Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance. He has translated several collections of poetry from the Arabic. He was a winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition in 2007 and has received a PEN award, a Banipal/Times Literary Supplement prize from the UK, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Houston, with his wife and kids, where he practices internal medicine.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2019