for Marilyn Hacker


Outside, the clouds part
and a cold sun silvers
the sea. Inside,

as butterflies and swimming women
surrender the mantelpiece
to polar bear cubs and bright berries,

I lie on the sofa reading
the Qur’an, a heart-shaped cushion
tucked under my arm.

Like caviar-hunters, the surgeons
have filleted my chest, scooped out
every last suspect cell.

Their blue dye haloes my nipple:
for a year my breast will weep
lapis lazuli tears.

Online, a man
with eyes of dark fire
says he admires my courage.

I am not brave.
All I have done is submit
to the will of the seasons, embrace

an untranslatable change.

Naomi Foyle

Naomi Foyle is an award-winning British-Canadian writer based in Brighton UK. Her publications include The Gaia Chronicles, a science fiction quartet set in a post-fossil fuel Mesopotamia, and the essay "Palestine and (Human) Nature" (Critical Muslim), about her 2016 visit to eco-projects in the West Bank and refugee camps in Lebanon. In 2017, she co-translated Wounds of the Cloud by Yasser Khanger (Jerusalem), and edited the bilingual anthology A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry (UK).  Seven of her poems, including "Post-Op" were translated into Arabic for her reading at the 2018 Babylon Festival for International Cultures and Arts (Babil, Iraq).

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