He carried a black wing.
He parted the curtains after a bomb fell on a loaded song.
He asked a comrade if thereâ€™s a long-distance between
what we disarrange and need instructions for,
he disassembled fire to overhear history whisper to history.
He said on his tongue lies a ruin
and there are commas all over his body.
He said there is no perfect exit,
there is only absence falling into absence
and thereâ€™s also a high window
and there is always evening prayer.
He said clues donâ€™t belong with the dead,
dim the lights
the other country isnâ€™t close.
~ Nathalie Handal
Nathalie Handal was raised in Latin America, France and the Arab world, and educated in the United States and United Kingdom. Her recent books include the flash collection â€˜The Republicsâ€™, lauded as â€œone of the most inventive books by one of todayâ€™s most diverse writersâ€ and winner of the Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing; the bestselling bilingual collection â€˜La estrella invisibleâ€™ / â€˜The Invisible Starâ€™; the critically acclaimed â€˜Poet in AndalucÃaâ€™; and â€˜Love and Strange Horsesâ€™,Â winner of the Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award. Handal is a Lannan Foundation Fellow, Centro Andaluz de las Letras Fellow, Fondazione di Venezia Fellow, and winner of the Alejo Zuloaga Order in Literature, among other honors. Based in New York City and Paris, she is a professor at Columbia University and writes the literary travel column The City and the Writer for Words without Borders.