The political becomes personal, and powerfully so, in Philip Metres’ amazing new book Sand Opera, which he describes as a “collection of poems that sets in counterpoint the experience of becoming a father on the home front and the War on Terror abroad, and meditates on what it means to celebrate the body, raise children, and write poetry in a terrifying world of war and violence.” In addition to Metres’ new collection, (and his other ones, which I’m just now reading), I highly recommend this recent interview in the Los Angeles Review of Books with the also fantastic poet Fady Joudah.
Love Potion #42
Before you, I slept on a bayonet,
Bided my time in clothing. Neither experience
nor innocence kept me
from bleeding. Before you, I held
an invisible sign: please touch this abyss.
How pleasing to have you sieve me
through your lungs, leave me essential
dregs and seeds. Since there’s no place
a grain of sand cannot hide, deserts
and strands now travel the world
with us, in shoes. Let me kind you in two
tongues, Habibti, two decades ago,
we fell off a cliff, each holding a wing,
each holding a hand, and have yet to land.