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poet

Dunya Mikhail

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Dunya Mikhail is the author of several books, including The Iraqi Nights (New Directions, 2014); Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea (New Directions, 2009), winner of the 2010 Arab American Book Award for Poetry; and The War Works Hard (New Directions, 2005). Her honors include the Kresge Artist Fellowship and the United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing. She currently lives in Michigan, where she works as an Arabic lecturer at Oakland University.

by this poet

poem

In Iraq,

after a thousand and one nights,

someone will talk to someone else.

Markets will open

for regular customers.

Small feet will tickle

the giant feet of the Tigris.

Gulls will spread their wings

and no one will fire at

poem
How magnificent the war is!

How eager

and efficient!

Early in the morning

it wakes up the sirens

and dispatches ambulances

to various places

swings corpses through the air

rolls stretchers to the wounded

summons rain

from the eyes of mothers

digs into the earth

dislodging many things

from under the
poem

Through your eye
history enters
and punctured helmets pour out.

Frequent tremors occur in your land
as if invisible hands shake your trees day and night.

They blockaded you and banished the oxygen from your water,
leaving the hydrogen atoms to quarrel with one another.

Shouldn'