"Dear Safaa (Fathy),"

Sarah Riggs


I saw the wind reach through

your ears again, and you made a huge

smile in words, flashing through your

teeth.  It was the unseasoned hour

of breathing fish and our gills were

choked with massacre, the rain along

the avenues coming out red.

We were getting younger in our palms

turned and curled in through these

mornings or night hours, it was

said so, fleeting and winded, you in

the sun for a second, having

to come out blue, and the verdant

decorations all we could think of

subtly to that mark. Also it was

purple, triangular, gleaming, some

kind of wound held together by

separation. Never to know the end

of it, transitioning back to the

inner thoughts made up of

dominoes and concrete leaves.

Several thousand people had

fit into that square thinking

it was a circle of souls.

The bodies separated out

and we were left with maps and

archives, some branches, and

ancient intuitions. These lines

weave through yours, and the

thinking goes around, far into

where we will be.

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Author Bio: Sarah Riggs is a writer and artist, born in New York where she is now based, after having spent over a decade in Paris. She is the author of seven books of poetry in English: Waterwork (Chax, 2007), Chain of Minuscule Decisions in the Form of a Feeling (Reality Street, 2007), 60 Textos (Ugly Duckling, 2010), Autobiography of Envelopes (Burning Deck, 2012), Pomme & Granite (1913 Press, 2015) which won a 1913 poetry prize, Eavesdrop (Chax, 2019) and The Nerve Epistle(forthcoming Roof Books, spring 2020/21). She is the author of the book of essays Word Sightings: Poetry and Visual Media in Stevens, Bishop, & O’Hara (Routledge, 2002), and has translated and co-translated six books of contemporary French poetry into English, including most recently Etel Adnan’s Time (Nightboat, 2019).