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Lisa Suhair Majaj's Writings

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Poem
Dec.15.2012
Geographies of Light
My Daughter Asks Me What The Soul Is   I who have no certainty of belief, how can I answer?  Maybe the soul is a small bird inside the chest, beating its wings for the joy of freedom. Maybe it’s a kernel of light, a pulsating star,  a small moon within us that waxes and wanes without leaving the sky. Perhaps it’s the energy that lightens our steps...
Poem
Dec.14.2012
Geographies of Light
Provenance   I come from olive and oleander pistachio, almond and fig from the many tendrils of vine   I come from light, strong and splintered from the khamsin browning the sky from walls of gentled stone chiseling a face   I come from a scraped knee, a bloody palm from trees climbed and fences scaled from the metallic whir of roller skates across...
Poem
Dec.14.2012
Geographies of Light
Doorway   The distance between one breath and another is like the miles starlight travels to reach   my dreams. I write my way toward my death, behind me a crumb trail of words erasing,   birds carrying morsels to their hungry chicks. Years I’ve traveled the byways    of language, searching for that doorway -- light spilling over the...
Poem
Dec.12.2012
Geographies of Light
Reunion   You’d think the dead would come at night: shadows on a midnight wind, shudders from the heart of mystery.   Instead they crowd in over my morning coffee, hover insistently in the steam, jostling their competing memories.   I tell them to come back later. All those years of longing and they think they can show up like creditors?   I...
Dec.12.2012
South Atlantic Quarterly, Fall 2003
  Journeys to Jerusalem (excerpt) For almost forty years I have been going to Jerusalem. Although I grew up in Amman, my earliest memories tap into the hills and stones of Jerusalem, splinter in its rocky soil. This is true even though my coherent recollections of Jerusalem begin later, after I turned seven, the biblical age of...