On the water
And the world, entire
before your eyes
And there's no more
And caches clear and all songs stream at once
The sound delayed, avatars retired
And all seasons complete at once
with the earth tilted on its axis no more
The weekend's lightning, languorous
arms stretched after lunch—you can't take more
And the robes are soaked; why,
they can't absorb another drop
and what's more
washes over unimpeded now
And there's more
The morning after
all justice meted out
all grudges would be lost
in the cloud
And power would go out
And all leisure would be more
And the fight would go out of you
with the world at your fingertips
guiding your hand
to the ends of luxury
It doesn't get any better than this
of the same
And who could want more
“On the water” from HOMES: by Moheb Soliman.
Published by Coffee House Press on June 8, 2021.
Copyright © 2021 by Moheb Soliman.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Moheb Soliman is an interdisciplinary poet from Egypt and the Midwest who’s presented work at literary, art, and public spaces in the US, Canada, and abroad with support from the Joyce Foundation, Pillsbury House, Banff Centre, Minnesota State Arts Board, and others. He has degrees from The New School for Social Research and the University of Toronto and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he was the program director for the Arab American lit and film organization Mizna before receiving a multi-year Tulsa Artist Fellowship. His debut poetry collection, HOMES (Coffee House Press, 2021), about nature, modernity, identity, and belonging through the site of the Great Lakes region, put him in Ecotone’s annual indie press shortlist and the Poets & Writers annual 10 debut poets feature. Moheb was a finalist for the Heartland Booksellers Awards and is a current finalist for the Minnesota Book Awards and Big Other Awards. www.mohebsoliman.info
“In a time of environmental catastrophe and colonial destruction, Soliman's sly and shifting poems suggest that moving between various homes makes more sense than trying to construct a static place of complete belongingness.”
—Elizabeth Hoover, Star Tribune
“Moheb Soliman’s HOMES is a fascinating study in the differences between place and destiny—‘It was a port that sank,’ he writes, ‘not a freighter.’ Through the collection we visit places to travel, places to live, places to escape. Other times, it’s a vacancy we’re visiting. ‘You do not arrive,’ one poem states, ‘The place arrives.’ Ultimately what excites me most about this collection is its affirmation that for some of us, there is only one place, one home: the one inside our own mind.”
"This is a scintillating, scorching read of seeing, knowing, passing through, and homing, where Moheb Soliman casts the good spell, and we are bound to it.”
—Allison Adelle Hedge Coke