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Marian Haddad Marian Haddad’s poems possess a “richness of language and cultural identity ” and insist on the “connective instead of divisive” aspects of difference. No doubt, her background informs these traits. Born in El Paso, Texas, to Syrian immigrants, she was the only one of ten siblings to be born in the United States and, in her childhood, spent a good deal of time on the Mexican side of the border. At home she spoke English, Arabic, and Spanish. She is the author of a chapbook, Saturn Falling Down, and a full-length collection, Somewhere between Mexico and a River Called Home. She graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso, earned an M.F.A. from San Diego State University, received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, and studied the prose poem at Emerson College. She lives in San Antonio. She Is Not the House of This Black Wing One of us is dying. Lying in a bed in a hospital suite. Tubes sprawling out of her like roots of a tree deep under the earth. A long plastic cord in her right nostril pumps bile into a large plastic cup attached to the wall above her bed. • • • She is resting now. Pink bedspread heaves slowly with each breath. Her coloring is ripe. Her skin is soft as light brown sugar. The mouth cups open, letting air into her lungs. Air. Important. Her legs outlined underneath the sheets, thinner even now. She winces as she moves. A quick, sharp beep resounds as she presses her pain button. Demerol drips down her IV, numbs the surgical carvings sketched in her skin. • • • 102 1CHARARA_pages_i-164.qxd:Layout 1 11/14/08 2:36 PM Page 102 Flowers line the walls. Roses the color of parchment, the color of membrane, and one sticking up, the color of fire. Fragrant bushes of tiger lilies, orchids metastasizing, azaleas mutating, and a lump of purple peonies like bruises unfolded. Glads rising up out of this night. What tempests are blowing through the countries in her brain? I know we are numb, and when we are not, we are shaking. Malfunctioning FLOWTRON I would say he likes the cadence of the high pitched beep—he is sleeping better now—quiet makes us think—our minds crank every few minutes, eyes open, the mouth atwitter and sleep has slipped. Awake and thirsty from the Morphine, he smacks his lips, rolls his tongue inside, Agua, he says, though he is not Mexican. Agua, a language he has learned in America, and he, Arabic. Three languages roll deftly on this dry tongue, Marian Haddad 103 1CHARARA_pages_i-164.qxd:Layout 1 11/14/08 2:36 PM Page 103 awaiting a swab of water, he sucks it like the nipple of a mother; hoping to wash clean all that is not. And here, the beep, started and sounding in its metronomic mode. Now, he lies snoring, mouth open wide, the welcome music of the living. 104 Marian Haddad 1CHARARA_pages_i-164.qxd:Layout 1 11/14/08 2:36 PM Page 104 Resurrection Ascension of bone against bone. There is something that clatters like fangs strung together on twine about my neck. Black sky vapors. My grandfather’s five moons rise above me. His wife stands clouding the door of night, blesses me with her oncefleshy palm, lays it like ivory twigs upon my head. A holy garment. The chalice and the cup. She bids me to find blue, points to the field of night flowers, white and heavy with damp. I kneel in-between rows of petals and stems, scent seeping. Camphor of night. She bids me to immerse myself in water, past the patch of trees. She prays I will bear children, that they will swim like truth around my sphere. She names me Saturn, and I bow to her presence in silence, her bones clattering a prayer, near and around me. I have no history here nothing but a year and a few months of turning I have made a home in a land I never knew where people seem distant and unhearing Marian Haddad 105 1CHARARA_pages_i-164.qxd:Layout 1 11/14/08 2:36 PM Page 105 yet in-between the crowds a few comrades I am starting to write myself down inscribe myself somewhere near these waters are we not all welcome in this salty land by sea out my window...


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MARC Record
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