Weekly Poem: ‘Brokenmusic’

BY Arts Desk  March 16, 2009 at 1:13 PM EDT

By Nathalie Handal

Maybe when you are ready for music
            every instrument around is broken
Maybe when you are ready for freedom
            your heart can no longer beat
Maybe when you grow madness
            you find what you were meant to see
Maybe if you show me
            how desire begs
play a tune in E minor
            the slow river of wings will
reveal itself.

But it had to come to this instead:
            a broken violin
            the heart, unsolved
            an argument with Jesus or Mohammed
            —exile has its ways.
            Now your breath is a flat tune
            limping its way around
            the wake of your mouth.

Nathalie Handal is the author of two books of poetry, “The NeverField” and “The Lives of Rain,” and is also the editor of “The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology” and co-editor of “Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond.” She has also been involved either as a writer, director or producer in over twenty theatrical and film productions worldwide.