refugee camp, france

one of the more revolt­ing things i’ve been see­ing in these revolt­ing times is the con­tin­u­ing demon­i­sa­tion of refugees, attempt­ing to cross the eng­lish chan­nel from french camps, to get to britain. the far-right (and i include our home sec­re­tary, the egre­gious pri­ti patel in this) has behaved atro­cious­ly in this coun­try which i am, day by day lov­ing less and less as this lit­tle col­lec­tion of islands drifts clos­er and clos­er towards some­thing unspeakable.

from the paris review



the refugee considers the faucet

by philip metres

after pamela argentieri’s “con­tin­ued persistence”

o arm that spurts flowers,

branch giv­ing birth to water.

o tree that bows down

and stays there, hovering

between sky and ground.

you anchor us to now.

we have walked so long

our home has narrowed

to the width of our shoes

and what we can carry.

and yet you, still animal,

hol­low metal

con­duct­ing an internal

con­vo with movement,

you are endurance

in the still moment

of begin­ning, you are

antic­i­pa­to­ry beauty,

o instan­ta­neous river,

com­pressed creek,

o brass wellspring,

invis­i­ble lake, o slake,

oasis in a tube, taproot,

song of the mute, i bow

to you, and hold my hands

like a shal­low bowl

beneath your mouth.


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