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Hayan Charara

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Hayan Charara

Hayan Charara is the author of three poetry collections: Something Sinister (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2016), The Sadness of Others (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2006), which was nominated for the National Book Award, and The Alchemist’s Diary (Hanging Loose Press, 2001). A recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, he is the editor of Inclined to Speak (University of Arkansas, 2008), an anthology of contemporary Arab American poetry. He teaches at the University of Houston in Texas, where he lives. 

by this poet


The trees alongside the fence
bear fruit, the limbs and leaves speeches
to you and me. They promise to give the world
back to itself. The apple apologizes
for those whose hearts bear too much zest
for heaven, the pomegranate
for the change that did not come
soon enough. Every seed


They kept showing up, for days,
dead on the windowsill,
and for days I did nothing about the ladybugs
except to ask if their entering the house
unnoticed and dying before I saw them
was symbolic.
Thinking so was easy.
They symbolized birth and death,
change and rebirth.