Samar Abulhassan :: from The Dormant Bilingual


Women circle the frozen book
co-mingled heaves

Book hums inside snow-
to ring or to muffle?

Skin revives skin
calls in accents when needed.

Script too heated to climb
what rushes in from both margins:
weak-armed clamor.
When white exquisites
purpose becalmed
wipe-out propels your own stillpoint
the page vanishes
mouth a cove



no one fished for approval
in the sensory deprivation tank
no knock comes
widowed hunger                    salty blue-lit return
furied shoulders            enter cupped dark
Black pitched relent
to unwail adjusted eyes
whirring flesh and bone



A woman stands on her hands
and writes the impossible.
Crushes cardamom pod for morning coffee.
Listens very very very closely.

Shrunken vocabulary
dormant bilingual in bereft corridors
the Book teems with
volcanic shimmers
a network of koans
crushing masterpiece bare



She sends her brother
a pop-up version of the French text from their childhood.
Ladder of hands turn invisible pages
ancestral fuming
new paper sculptures

The first crisp unfolding
She rose to plug it
Her posture ignited by the word parachute
closes gap at plane’s edge



Record of scratched memory
lessening cords
Language recedes
Anoint your mother’s shingles from afar
The raised music of skin
Ethereal fervor
the Book washed away



Dream the Book to ferocious
in your non-dominant hand.
Whichever direction she looked,
bewilderment’s scattered blue reached.

The week she left home
with light-musiked limbs
she dropped into a foreign city
inside tornado season.

Torn roofs excited, kites given to apprentice
No base-flyer-spotter
What dismounts a jeweled flight