National Poetry Month Day 17: Sarah Ghazal Ali






O Gabriel   

O umbilical mesh
apogee of angels 
O ungendered & sex-
less courier 
O jagged nail 
fattening on His finger
O arch 
& archive O bush 
ablaze O throat       O throat 
O uterine throat  
O mediary of Mary
of Musa O pillar of cloud 
O brute force O being 
unborn yet sent to make me 
see O brilliant light 
O blotting dark—


                                    God tugs at whim your corded tongue


                                                                                                so tilt an ear & shade me

                                                                                                with your heel break open
                                                                                                a fount as you did for my sister

                                                                                                all my rooms are greening in wait

                                                                                                pull back my falling shroud, see
                                                                                                how well I bear the burden

                                                                                                a child—

                                                                                                come sigh
                                                                                                for once in me



Author photo courtesy of author

Sarah Ghazal Ali is the author of Theophanies, selected as the Editors' Choice for the 2022 Alice James Award. Her poems appear in Poetry, Pleiades, Electric Literature, and Poet Lore, among other journals. An incoming Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University, she currently serves as editor for Palette Poetry. Find her at More from this author →