Poetry of Provocation and Witness from Split This Rock: Poem # 15

For the people of Iraq
consider the infinite fragility of an infant’s skull
how the bones lie soft and open
only time knitting them shut
consider a delicate porcelain bowl—
how it crushes under a single blow
in one moment whole years disappear
consider: beneath the din of explosions
no voice can be heard
no cry
consider your own sky on fire
your name erased
your children’s lives “a price worth paying”
consider the faces you do not see
the eyes you refuse to meet
collateral damage
how in these words
the world
cracks open
-Lisa Suhair Majaj
From Geographies of Light (Del Sol Press 2009)

Lisa Suhair Majaj is the author of Geographies of Light (winner of the Del Sol Press Poetry Prize) and co-editor of three volumes of literary essays: Intersections: Gender, Nation and Community in Arab Women’s Novels (Syracuse University Press, 2002), Etel Adnan: Critical Essays on the Arab-American Writer and Artist (McFarland Publishing, 2002) and Going Global: The Transnational Reception of Third World Women Writers. (NY: Garland/Routledge, 2000). She publishes poetry, creative nonfiction and critical essays in journals and anthologies the US, Europe and the Middle East, and has read at venues such as London’s Poetry International. She currently lives in Cyprus.

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