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Nathalie Handal

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Nathalie Handal

Nathalie Handal is the author of The Republics (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015). She teaches at Columbia University and lives in Queens, New York.

by this poet


We’ve been told space
is like two dark lips colliding

like science fiction
it outlines a small cosmos

where fear hides in a glow
where negative space

becomes a place for wishing
a constellation of hazy tunes

of faint sharp vowels
a glossary of meteors


When the white trees are no longer in sight
they are telling us something,
like the body that undresses
when someone is around,
like the woman who wants
to read what her nude curves
are trying to say,
of what it was to be together,
lips on lips
but it's over now, the town
we once loved in, the maps
we once drew

Death is careless at times. It confuses love with a wet afternoon in an empty room. The unpainted walls a reminder of how sex can resemble poverty. A hollow cry. An open mouth falling inside as you sleep. I prepare my heart and language with better words, like worlds in small selves I'