National Poetry Month Day 13: Leila Chatti






                               at the bedside                                 robed
                                          in white a white             blaze

                                                a hum                          of light
                                                                          like a supernal

                        language     a dove in the dark
                                            bell of my thresh
                                                                                  -old pain
pealing                                      like a Sun
                                          day the attending
                                                              widening      the dove’s
                        beak   a bit
                             of pressure a sharp
                                                           in view on the screen
                                                                      black haloes black
                                   seas void
                          of boats
                                                     or divinity

they are speaking  now they are trying their best

                             to appear
                                                               so I won’t

                     startle       leave                                    but what
                                                                 they have to tell me

                          I don’t want
                                    to receive
                                                                      the Word only

                                            once it slipped in her



Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and author of Deluge, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2020, and the chapbooks Ebb (Akashic Books, 2018) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya, the 2017 Editors' Selection from Bull City Press. She is the recipient of grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation and fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Cleveland State University, where she is the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Publishing and Writing. Her poems have received awards from Ploughshares's Emerging Writer's Contest, Narrative's 30 Below Contest, the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize, and the Academy of American Poets. She is the Consulting Poetry Editor for the Raleigh Review and her work appears in Ploughshares, Tin House, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. More from this author →