Winter Altar

The last Sunday of the month pockets
of roses

appear on the lamppost.

I line windowsills with ash

because I cannot bear the
carcasses.

They torched the library in
Baghdad

and I am proud of the tea I swirled
with milk

the night you left. Soap

soaps a sink of plants flecking
the clay basin and

faltered I script every stalled train
into romance.

I do ballerina stretches.

I twirl
for every smiling man.

They will all die. I know that now.

*
Hala Alyan is a Palestinian-American poet whose work has appeared in several journals, including Copper Nickel, Third Coast, and The Journal. Her first full-length poetry collection, “Atrium,” was published by Three Rooms Press in New York City, and was recently awarded the 2013 Arab American Book Award in Poetry. She resides in Manhattan.

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