Duhkha: a vanishing of suffering, an Odyssey
that rams me into Sisyphus, Ithaca’s other name.

Duhkha: I don’t pronounce it properly
or insert the proper symbol for it in Word doc,
a dot at the mouth of the cove the first h makes.

Duhkha sounds like the word for laugh in Arabic,
the noun not the command and in dialect of dialect,
duhkha imagines duqqa:

herbaceous, nutty, spiceful,
pounded into coarse powder that adheres to bread
you dip in olive oil every morning. Or dizziness:

when you see duhkha laid out on the page
you can hear the Arabic for dizziness. For falafel,

couscous and sumac combined,
and humus is mine.


Fady Joudah, "Aries" from Tethered to Stars. Copyright © 2021 by Fady Joudah. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Milkweed Editions, www.milkweed.org.