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Published: Mon Apr 15 2024
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
AGNI 99 Loss Violence Home
This Is Me!

A city whose streets escaped it,
a house without windows,
a rain with no clouds,
a swimmer in the desert,
a shirt with ripped-off buttons,
a book with loose pages,
a lightless moon and colorless grass,
a toothless smile and suffocated laugh,
a dark painting on black canvas.
I’m a table with no legs,
a noisy restaurant with no guests.
I write with a pen that has no ink.
I write my name in the air
and shout it, but no voice comes out.
I look around and see many things,
but I see no one.

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Mosab Abu Toha is a Palestinian poet from Gaza. His debut poetry book, Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear (City Lights, 2022), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and received the American Book Award, the Palestine Book Award, and Arrowsmith Press’s 2023 Derek Walcott Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, AGNI, The New York Review of Books, Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. (updated 4/2024)

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