Disembarking in Jaffa

The shore greets impatiently,
peeved it has taken so long.

فرقتك مرة

Forgive me,

I whimper. It is true: I
cowered before the coldness

of rifles, surrendered to
the cruel apathy of their

bureaucracy. Here, at last,
I look upon a sky free

of intrusive steel and glass.
Boys with guttural names run

around and I do not watch
over them. Instead, I cup

salt water and drench the ache
off my face. After وضوء

we lay our shirts on the soft
ground, bow as the sun sets.


At night, I light ولعة after ولعة
for Darwish and Kanafani.

We do not sing because the
waves make our mouths futile. We

smoke till dawn and no one coughs.
After فجر we walk, arms inter-

locked, straight towards an open
horizon. No idiot tries

to stop us.

Hazem Fahmy

Hazem Fahmy is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated poet and critic from Cairo. He is currently pursuing his MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. His debut chapbook, "Red//Jild//Prayer" won the 2017 Diode Editions Contest. A Watering Hole Fellow, his poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming in Apogee, HEArt, Mizna, and The Offing. His performances have been featured on Button Poetry and Write About Now. He is a reader for the Shade Journal, a poetry editor for Voicemail Poems, and a contributing writer to Film Inquiry.