Philip Metres

 


The Particulars of Which

 

                                                               nights I’d fall asleep to the lighthouse sweeping its beam across our windows
Diso beying
                                                                                                                                                              a constant comfort
                          a space in the middle
                                                                                                                                                             from the explosions
                         of the word, typed hastily
o beying

                                                            I have no memories of walking streets of Yafa just the scenes from our balcony

“all males will concentrate… between Faisal Street, Al Mukhtar Street, and Al Hulwa Street…
                                                                                a man carrying a coffin lid vertically in front of him, like a shield

“…and the Sea until everyone has identified…”
                                                                                                                              the shuffle of their feet the only sound
“…identified themselves under arrangements…”
                                                                                                      in the coffin, a clean-shaven, peaceful young man in
                        the Irgun’s steady rain of mortar fire
                                                                                                                                                    charcoal-gray suit, as if

O City of Oranges, O Bride of Palestine
                                                                                                                                                       dressed for a wedding

“…the particulars of which will be…”

                                                      “if you do not want the same thing to happen to you as happened in Deir Yassin,”
                                                                                                         we heard the loudspeakers say, “then you will flee”
                                                                                                             our bags packed, we drove past houses in flames

  How many thousands were pushed out behind barbed wire drowned at sea
                                                                                                                                 houses in houses in houses in flames

“…the particulars of which will be…”

declared absentees

“…notified later…”
O Bride

“…free to return to their former homes…”

  taken by the state
                                                                                                                                         never to return or be returned

 

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Philip Metres is the author of ten books, including Shrapnel Maps (forthcoming 2020), The Sound of Listening (essays, 2018), Sand Opera (poems, 2015), Pictures at an Exhibition (poems, 2016), and others. His work has garnered a Lannan fellowship, two NEAs, six Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Hunt Prize, the Beatrice Hawley Award, two Arab American Book Awards, the Watson Fellowship, the Creative Workforce Fellowship, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. He is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University.


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