if you squeeze my left knee
everything will be all right
even death for a little while

i already own my own last suit
but there is nothing to cover me with
when you squeeze my left knee

no acknowledgment
can ever make me whole
holes being the whole of me

if you squeeze my left knee
my body seems to remember
where I have put me away

and away becomes the word
to which all the letters belong
and all the numbers run

Photo: Caring Hands by Martien van Asseldonk

Djelloul Marbrook’s book of poems, Far From Algiers, is the 2007 winner of Kent State University’s Stan and Tom Wick First Book Prize in poetry. He is the author of the short story, Artists Hill,which won the Literal Latté K. Margaret Grossman Fiction Award in the spring of 2008, and the novella Alice Miller’s Room. His poetry has appeared in Solstice (UK), Beyond Baroque (California), American Poetry Review, Oberon,The Ledge (New York), Perpetuum Mobile, Attic (Maryland), The Country and Abroad (New York), Arabesques Literary and Cultural Review (Algeria), and Istanbul Literary Review. His fiction has also been published by Prima Materia (New York), Breakfast All Day (UK), and Potomac Review (DC). His career as a newspaper reporter and editor has spanned all the major transitions in modern journalism—from typewriters and teletypes to computers, from hot lead typography to photo-offset and then to the Internet. He writes frequently about Internet journalism and produces a daily blog about literary and cultural affairs. He retired in 1987 to write poetry and fiction and now lives in the mid-Hudson Valley and Manhattan with his wife, Marilyn.

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