Poem: A Voice From the Wreck
The speaker in Chad Abushanab’s poem is neither witness nor sufferer however oracle. Staggered traces and irregular rhymes provide little reprieve from a world spellbound by despair and pervasive violence. Traditional Greek hexameters alternate with shorter, bumpier cadences; every return to the left margin permits us only a gasp of air earlier than snapping us again as desolation sweeps in as soon as extra. Hopelessness galvanized by rancor, retribution on a loop: The harm runs deep. This voice will hang-out for a very long time. Chosen by Rita Dove
A Voice From the Wreck
By Chad Abushanab
I’m an accident on the south aspect of the city,
on the outskirts, the place the desert holds its floor
towards the streetlights’ final defenses. I’m the fireplace
leaping from the Chevy’s body to smite the sky
and drain the cool out of the evening. I’m the cellphone
in somebody’s shaking hand, woken up
by the explosion on the street, the requires assist.
I’m an ambulance, a siren at nighttime.
I’m the stoplight. I’m the child out driving drunk,
vodka on his breath and bile in his throat.
I’m the headlights slamming closing recognition.
And whenever you whisper names like curses
in your room, I’m the scent of gasoline in bloom,
the bloodstained moon behind the clouds.
I guzzle damaged bones and busted radiators,
coolant working thick in thirsty gutters.
And when you ever handle to close your eyes, to sleep,
I’ll wander from the wreckage as you dream.
Rita Dove is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a former poet laureate of the USA. She edited “The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry,” and her “Collected Poems: 1974-2004” was printed in 2016. Chad Abushanab is the winner of the 2018 Donald Justice Poetry Prize. His debut poetry assortment, “The Last Visit,” was printed by Autumn Home Press in March 2019.
Illustration by R.O. Blechman