World speaking out

If we loved like farmers… two poems from Suheir Hammad

land
his approach
to love he said
was that of a farmer
most love like
hunters and like
hunters most kill
what they desire
he tills
soil through toes
nose in the wet
earth he waits
prays to the gods
and slowly harvests
ever thankful

the missing
the way loss seeps
into neck hollows
and curls at temples
sits between front teeth
cavity
empty and waiting
for mourning to open
the way mourning stays
forever shadowing vision
shaping lives with memory
a drawer won’t close
sleep elusive
smile illusive
the only real is grief
forever counting the days
minutes missing without knowing
so that one day
you find yourself
showering tears
missing that love
like sugar
aches teeth

-US poet Suheir Hammad was born in Jordan to Palestinian refugees. She is an activist, and she writes about dispossession – both as a woman and a migrant.