three poems

by Dr. Banah el Ghadbanah

The Moreover

perched sunbathing on a rock, I
try to lull myself into living, confuse the
hijinked voices in my head into delight,
I, radiant clay flower, lean back lovely
in the afternoon park, just
enough for the day

midnight, zenobia dreams of Amara’s hair on her pillow

I missed your touch
yesterday in my sinking
clear moon body that
dips into the sky &
disappears when unremembered
I hear faraway flutes and birds
calling out for my heart
in the distance

When you are not
here I talk to
the swollen river
mountains overflowing
with blue green I
listen to the sound
of my heartbeat
& paint my eyelids in
sunset colors &
clear space on the
altar for a new god

de dea syria, the goddesses venture into the galaxy of desire

The walk home is a
lonely journey but sweet
child you have guides.
The trees and golden
petals, a field of sunflowers,
a grandmother’s embrace.
The way you dance
reminds us of the mercies.
The way you move,
leopard skin illuminating
the moon, a spirit orb
so vast, a heartbeat drums
beyond flesh & hologram.
Your limbs are the
Euphrates and they flow
heavenly desert
rivulets into the
stars. Time collapses
in your arms.

Dr. Banah el Ghadbanah is a professor of Comparative Women’s Studies at Spelman College. Zir research focuses on the creativity Syrian women make in revolution and war. Zir first collection of poems, La Syrena: Visions of a Syrian Mermaid from Space (Dzanc Books 2022) won the Diverse Voices Prize. Zir second book, homegirls, hashish, and the moon, is forthcoming with Everybody Press (2023).