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About this Poem 

"This poem was composed on a cellphone text message. Each section is exactly 160 characters long according to text message parameters. The poem is part of a book-long thread, titled Textu, forthcoming from Copper Canyon press in e-format, in which all the poems were composed as text messages of exactly 160 characters long." —Fady Joudah

When the Grandmother Dies

it'll be kept secret
from her four daughters

who'll be flying in
from three different countries

after years of absence
reunion ends



When the grandmother dies

it'll ruin summertime
for the grandkids who

in their mothers' grief will eat
okra each day

fresh & leftover
till it tastes like ash




When the grandmother dies

the groundskeeper will beg for cash
he comforts her he'll say

& the sisters
will reply

Were it not for you
the dead would have died

Copyright © 2013 by Fady Joudah. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on March 8, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2013 by Fady Joudah. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on March 8, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Fady Joudah

Fady Joudah

Fady Joudah, born in Texas in 1971, is the author of Textu (Copper Canyon Press).

by this poet

poem

Thank you for dreaming of me
for letting me know
for waking up to remember that you dreamed
I never wake up when I dream of you

What woke you up
was it someone
else’s body?

A small thrill a little secret is ours
a desire for safe

poem

Does consciousness exist only when
you name it?  Was the double helix a
stranger, the nucleus the  first brain?
I feel  therefore I am.  This  is  more
peptide than pep-talk. The tongueless
mood is sticking its tongue out at us.
The mountian  wool is  shaved into
vineyards.

poem
All this talk through a tunnel 
of kid gloves and landmines went underground.

You were catching my limbs
in sequels and spoofs, commemoration my organs

with friends lost, whose names like patients’ names.
Our clumped desire stirs and how

when unwound, as with DNA, it sweetly wounds us.
Hope in the right place