Two Poems

Poetry / Leila Chatti

Postcard from Gone

When you left I walked
into the ocean. Not to
drown but to be held

by something
to let go. Don’t

make this bigger
than it is, which is big
enough to swallow

and civilizations.
I joined

the blue, I was blue.
And when I looked
down, I shattered

and reformed
so many times, you know, I couldn’t catch
a clear look at myself.

Walking through Provincetown in January, I Fall in Love Again

with my life. The fleece of it
draped silver midair. From the eaves of houses
icicles dripping, keeping
time with my pulse.
(How could I have ever wanted
to cut you out? Bluest
ribbon of my blood
looped around my wrist as if a finger, so as not
to forget—) Through the haze, sun-
break demanding as a child. Messy dayglow on
slush, spilling everywhere like milk.
I pause at the harbor, its broad
clean slate. My cheeks
red as the first day. My feet planted
at the edge, lapped by swash like kisses.

Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and author of the chapbooks Ebb (New-Generation African Poets Series, forthcoming 2018) and Tunsiya/Amrikiya, the 2017 Editors’ Selection from Bull City Press (forthcoming 2018). She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Tin House Writers’ Workshop, Dickinson House, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, where she is the 2017-2018 Ron Wallace Poetry Fellow. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, The Georgia Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, Narrative, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.