Ahmad Al-Khatat

Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad, Iraq. His work has appeared in print and online journals globally. He has poems translated into several languages such as Farsi, Chinses, Spanish, Albanian, Romanian, Arabic. He has published some poetry chapbooks, and a collection of short stories. He has been nominated for Best of the Net 2019 and was also nominated for the Pushcart Price 2020.

Sobbing So Much

Why am I sobbing so much?
Is it for the country I referred 
to as my "homeland," Iraq?
Or is it for "Baghdad," a city to 
which I felt a sense of belonging 
but never actually did.

Why am I sobbing so much?
Do I miss caressing her hands, 
kissing her soft cheeks, comforting
her scented body or is it that headache
that turns into a woman. 

Why am I sobbing so much?
Who can guide me how to evacuate 
from the world and its suffering. 
I offered my heart; it has suffered since.
My spirit was given, it is now an orphan.
I surrendered my body, now it is a widower.

Why am I sobbing so much?
Even though I am not the only passenger in 
the bus travelling beneath the lunar eclipse, 
I cover my face when a tree outside the window
 starts to bloom with green leaves. I need 
to slaughter the unfinished alphabets off my madness.

Joy Breathing

Every day, I'm embarrassed to walk
 for hours on end with injured feet.

My heart has become an ashtray, 
with smokes bursting in my lungs.

I'm not sure if death is a desired 
wish or if I should return home.

They make no apologies for their wrong
-doing. Yet, they urge me to be courteous.

Closing borders may be challenging.
But it is the only way I could breathe joy.

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