By Salwa Al-Neimi Salwa Al-Neimi

Translated By Shawkat M. Toorawa Read the translator's notes

Protruding, rebelling against the lips,   
the long, pointed, ill-fated fang stared at me,   
(in spite of awkward attempts to hide it).   

Stealing adolescent glances,   
I dreamed it pierced me, pushing deep in the base of my neck.   
I bit my lower lip, flushed,   
but not before blushing under its spell.   

Yesterday when he smiled at me, with teeth in perfect alignment   
          (dentistry can work miracles),   
I turned my apostate face,   
and squinting, pretended to watch passersby.   

Source: Poetry (April 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2009


Salwa Al-Neimi studied Arabic literature in her native Syria before moving to Paris in the seventies to pursue degrees in Philosophy, film, and theater. She has published four collections of poems, a collection of short stories, and a novel.

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SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Desire

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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