Ausable Press, Paperback, 9781931337441, 77pp.
Publication Date: December 2008
"And I say come like a stranger, like a feather
falling on an old woman's shoulder, like a hawk
that comes to feed from her hands, come like a mystery,
like sunlight rain, a blessing, a bus falling off a bridge,
come like a deserting soldier, a murderer chased by law,
like a girl prostitute escaping her pimp, come like a lost horse,
like a dog dying of thirst, come love, come ragged and melancholy
like the last day on earth, come like a sigh from a sick man,
come like a whisper, like a bump on the road, like a flood,
a dam breaking, turbines falling from the sky,
come love like the stench of a swamp, a barrage of light
filling a blind girl's eye, come like a memory
convulsing the body into sobs, like a carcass floating on a stream,
come like a vision, come love like a crushing need,
come like an afterthought. Heart song. Heart song"
Khaled Mattawa was born in Benghazi, Libya, and immigrated to the United States in his teens. As a poet, he is a citizen of the world. Both American and an exile, he writes of the beauties and grievances of history and culture in language born of profound experience. The author of "Ismailia Eclipse "and translator of three volumes of contemporary Arabic poetry, Mattawa has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Alfred Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and an NEA translation grant.