“The Magic of Apricot,” by Fady Joudah

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“The Magic of Apricot,” by Fady Joudah, appeared in the Spring 2018 issue of MQR.

The magic of apricot
when the scent is flesh and descent is one bite
and you’re a Moor speaking Chinese

The magic of apricot
the last time you saw home whole
a child and a lotus tree
laden with figs in the fall

What Lazarus looks like in the brain
or what the brain looks like on Lazarus

The magic of apricot
my bare feet and the plasma core of the world
smeared by human hands

The magic of apricot says
no one’s ever nude on radiology film
and I’m grateful for my nipples
ripening early in frost

The magic of apricot
quotes those who’ve quoted you
changes what solid means
with two fingers
shakes the stamen sprays the anthers

A vocalist who doesn’t sing
convulses his body
negative capability a cappella style

The magic of apricot may well keep us alive
a little while longer than unnecessary

Andalus is also Petra
the maggots of place
healers of severance and decay
Machu Picchu sleeps at night
and hustles by day

The magic of apricot
my daughter blurts out
the three unprompted words
“I love you”
in Arabic one

let there be digital archives
hector the microfilm

the falafel of truth
and the truth of falafel

the stuff of novels

the truffle of return

the ordinariness of scallions

we paid for the memory

Image: Van Gogh, Vincent. “Orchard with Blossoming Apricot Trees.” 1888. Oil on canvas. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.