Brief Respite in Mid-December

Leila Chatti

there is a little winter light it goes a long way

golden capsule in an upturned palm

cheeks pressed against the knees and deep

breaths breaths counted

outside the world that doesn’t particularly care about keeping me

leaving like a child

its white sun blue cold all over the place

snow like paperwhites in the window

I could disappear no one would know

the promising thing is that I didn’t

what passes for joy: alive

I washed my face and did the dishes

Leila Chatti is a Tunisian-American poet and the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf Fellow in Writing and Publishing at Cleveland State University. She is the author of Deluge, forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2020, and the chapbooks Tunsiya/Amrikiya (City Bull Press) and Ebb (New-Generation African Poets Series, Akashic Books).