Back to Issue Thirty-Three




my hand on the outline of each
country I can’t reach — in dreams,
on a plane too close to someone,
if I hug my father, with new books
to learn all 3 dialects , as a child, or old
enough to know better, through
the worth of ache, palming the oceans,
with oil burning through the walls,
its language, if I fall in love
with someone from there if I meet
the parents, without a grand family
tree, because of the time it took historians
to find a name for [          ] even if
I told God, I cried every day
of Ramadan last year, because I can’t
tell the difference between lion (share) and
milk (sheer) because instead of separate,
I say alone a full lack, never given precise
measures — the only uncertainty
a map could agree with.


Hajjar Baban is the author of the chapbooks Relative to Blood (Penmanship Books, 2018) and What I Know of the Mountains (Anhinga Press, 2019). A Pakistan-born Afghan Kurdish poet, she is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and will begin her MFA in Poetry at the University of Virginia. Hajjar has work appearing in The Offing, Foundry, and Asian American Writers’ Workshop, among others. She spends most of her time avoiding running from herself. You can find her work here:


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