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Poetry Was Created to Solve Family Problems.

<TN>Faiza, Miled^McNeil, Karen</TN>

 Let me just say:
this is why poetry was created
to solve family problems when needed
and sometimes to wash the dishes and polish the glasses ...
I'm tired,
That's all.
"Whores" have the right to get tired
to close their legs for a while,
to assess the damage and measure the distance between
their ass cheeks and life
and the customer just has to wait until
the hole has mended and the edges have dried out.
Do you know what hurts the most?
My ears.
They were completely ruined by the screaming
the screaming of rain outside
and the wind in the locks, whenever my door is slammed by
one of them
like you, who didn't pay a single penny
so in return I asked you to recite a poem while entering me.
"The poet whore!"
is that what you told yourself?
Yes, this is me at my weakest
but can you deny that you were on the verge of tears
when you finished?
You put your head between your hands and cried like children
I also remember what you said before you left: I love you.
All this happened in less than an hour
while the wind was howling outside like a pack of dogs
and wolves far away echoed the howls.
Let me just say
for this--and this alone--was poetry created:
to wipe fingerprints from our bodies,
to straighten the sheets and pillows
and to open the door at the end and say ... goodbye.

Lamia Makaddem is a Tunisian poet and translator living in the Netherlands. The author of two books of poetry, her verse has been translated into English, French, Dutch, and Kurdish. In 2000 she was awarded the El Hizjra prize for literature. She translated the award-winning Dutch novel Jij zegt het (You said it), by Connie Palmen, and is currently working on the Arabic translation of Malva, by Hagar Peeters.

Translations from the Arabic By Miled Faiza & Karen McNeil

Karen McNeil's literary I translations have I appeared in Banipal, I World Literature Today, and al-Jadid. She was revising editor of the Oxford Arabic Dictionary (2014) and has a master's degree in Arabic literature and linguistics from Georgetown University. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Miled Faiza is a Tunisian American poet and translator. He Is the author of Remains of a House We Once Entered (2004) and translator of the Booker Prize-shortlisted novel Autumn, by Ali Smith (al-Kharif, 2017). He teaches Arabic at Brown University.

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Title Annotation:Two Poems
Author:Makaddem, Lamia
Publication:World Literature Today
Article Type:Poem
Date:May 1, 2018
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