Something rots under his flesh. You can’t save him. A boy limps until he reaches the
flickering lamppost. You can’t save him. A burnt girl stands by the lake that stretches
north to south. You can’t save her. A woman’s husband grows younger in her wound.
You can’t save her. The window shrieks. The fingers numb against cold bodies. The
eyes see tombs instead of light. The windows crack. Bodies see reflections they want to
keep as they hold on to their birthright—earth in hand. Suddenly, a cascade of marigolds
falling. A window of music, mizik as they say, can save, or is it what’s sealed that saves.
Nathalie Handalwas raised in Latin America, France and the Arab world. She is the author of numerous books, most recently the critically acclaimed Poet in Andalucía, which Alice Walker lauds as “poems of depth and weight and the sorrowing song of longing and resolve,” and Love and Strange Horses, winner of the 2011 Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award, which The New York Times says is “a book that trembles with belonging (and longing).” Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Vanity Fair, Guernica Magazine, The Guardian, The Nation, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Ploughshares. Handal is a Lannan Foundation Fellow, winner of the Alejo Zuloaga Order in Literature 2011, and Honored Finalist for the Gift of Freedom Award, among other honors. She writes the literary travel column The City and the Writer for Words without Borders.