Debra Grace Khattab, Writer & Folksinger

Coming To Poetry


I came to poetry in desperation

my soul needing to name its wounds.

I washed my face in other’s despair

hoping their tears would ease my way back into grief.

I hid books in books

covering up poetry

in adventure, in textbooks, in romance,

knowing my face would flow with the poems,

afraid relatives would read what they had done to me

with their words.


I brought along poetry

as I ran from home to town to city and on,

hoping to highlight the darkness I brought with me,

hoping the black lining which wrapped me

in this coffin of life

would soften as I pounded word after word

against its stream of nightmares.


I laid down with poetry,

a desperate whore willing to coin her virginity away

just to feel some warmth

when the winter winds

dipped below my hills of possibilities.


I laid poetry at gravestones,

I sang it where the ocean clutches the night,

I threw it on the floor of backseats next to the used rubbers,

I blessed and cursed lovers with poem after poem

until I knew that the only child that would never leave me,

the only lover that would die with me,

was the poetry that had eaten my heart.



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