From “The Book of Genocide”

Behold Gaza
Angels of death appear
in skies
on screens
Leaflets dropping down
like dead birds:

“Arise and flee into Egypt
and stay there forever
Herod will seek
every Palestinian child
and destroy them.”

A Hand

He was going to draw
a sea or two
where the trails of tears
could sleep

He was going to draw
a sky
where the eyes of the dead
could go on living in distant stars

He was going to draw
a hand

But he will not draw

He will extend his hand
and wait
for someone
to find his corpse
in the rubble


December 2023

Sinan Antoon

Sinan Antoon is a poet, novelist, scholar, and translator. He has published five novels and two collections of poetry. A third collection of poetry in English, entitled Postcards from the Underworld, was published by Seagull Books this past October. His most recent work in Arabic is Khuzama. His literary translations from Arabic include Ibtisam Azem’s The Book of Disappearance and Mahmoud Darwish’s In the Presence of Absence, which won the National Translation Award given by the American Literary Translators Association. His scholarly works include The Poetics of the Obscene in Pre-Modern Arabic Poetry: Ibn al-Hajjaj and Sukhf and numerous articles on modern Arabic poetry. Antoon is associate professor at New York University. He is co-founder and co-editor of Jadaliyya.