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Volume 19

The Other Side - Spring 2018


Faisal Mohyuddin

Written by
Faisal Mohyuddin

Faisal Mohyuddin’s debut full-length collection, The Displaced Children of Displaced Children (Eyewear Publishing, 2018), was selected by Kimiko Hahn as the winner of the 2017 Sexton Prize in Poetry and is a 2018 Summer Recommendation of the Poetry Book Society. Also the author of the chapbook The Riddle of Longing (Backbone Press, 2017), he is the recipient of the Edward Stanley Award from Prairie Schooner and a Gwendolyn Brook Poetry Award. He teaches English at Highland Park High School in Illinois and lives in Chicago.


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A Ghazal for the Diaspora


We have always been the displaced children of displaced children,
Tethered by distant rivers to abandoned lands, our blood’s history lost.

To temper the grief, imagine your father’s last breath as a Moghul garden—
Marble pool at its centre, the mirrored sky holding all his tribe had lost.

Above the tussle of his wounded city, sad-eyed paper kites fight to stay aloft.
One lucky child will be crowned the winner, everyone else will have lost.

Wish peace upon every stranger who arrives at your door, even the thief—
For you never know when your last chance at redemption will be lost.

In another version of the story, a steady loneliness mothers away the rust.
Yet, without windows in its hull, the time-traveler’s supplication gets lost.

Against flame-lipped testimonies of exile’s erasures, the swinging of an axe.
Felled banyan trees populate your nightmares, new enlightenments lost.

The rim of this porcelain cup is chipped, so sip with practiced caution.
Even a trace of blood will copper the flavor, the respite of tea now lost.

Tell me, Faisal, with what new surrender can you evade deeper damnation?
Whatever it is, hack away, before your children, too, become the Lost.

“Nirala Sheher” by Rabeya Jalil. 2016. Mixed medium installation. 6 x 4 inches.






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