Because, while a war blooms at the margins
of the other country that claims me, still
I am here with my ordinary grief and its language.
Because every time I open my mouth
I am an Arab opening my mouth
and the poem is, and isn’t, responsible.
Sometimes I have to shake
the sand from my story
like a shoe by the side of the road.
I have lost nearly everyone I love, and all
to mundane tragedies.
I have never felt in my bones a bomb’s
radius of light.
The truth is I can only write about God
so many times
before he starts listening.
The truth is, like you,
some days I am struck
by pleasure so simple and insistent
I can’t resist—the sun offering indiscriminate
brightness against my window, on the table
an empty glass glittering
—or sometimes, too, I am unwilling
to mention the wild
flowers staked in the field like flags.