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Vulnerability Study

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your face turning from mine
to keep from cumming

8 strawberries in a wet blue bowl

baba holding his pants
up at the checkpoint

a newlywed securing her updo
with grenade pins

a wall cleared of nails
for the ghosts to walk through

Source: Poetry (June 2014)

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

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Vulnerability Study

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  • Born in Istanbul, Turkey, to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People; and New York University. She is the author of the poetry collection Look (Graywolf Press, 2016), a finalist for the National Book Award. Her first published poem, included in A World Between: Poems, Short Stories, and Essays by Iranian-Americans (George Braziller, 1999), was written at the age of 13. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, the Kenyon Review, jubilat, Gulf Coast, Boston ReviewWitness and other publications. The former managing director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Sharif has had her work recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, scholarships from NYU and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass. Most recently, she was awarded an NEA fellowship and a Stegner Fellowship.

    In 2014, Sharif was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship...

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