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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
The martyr couldn't believe his eyes
when his tomb was bombed
as he braided a garland for his beloved—
a red garland,
yet...on the way to heaven ...
it turned white.
He bent toward the water with a small rainbow clutched in his hand.

In this way he makes music.
He lifts is hands to the clouds and braids her
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

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'