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This collection juxtaposes text from Google Search autocomplete with the intimate language of prayer. Corporate jargon co-exists with the incantatory and ancient ghazal form. Ahmed’s second book of poetry explores the terrain of lossof a beloved family member, of human dignity & potential, of the earth as it stands, of hope. Her poems weave mourning with the erratic process of healing, skepticism with an unsteady attempt to regain faith. With poems that are by turns elegiac, biting, and tender, Bring Now the Angels conveys a desire to move toward transformation and rebirth, even among seemingly insurmountable obstacles: chronic disease, corporate greed, environmental harm, and a general atmosphere of anxiety and violence.
BRING NOW THE ANGELS
To test your pulse as you sleep. Bring the healer the howler the listening ear Bring an apothecary to mix the tincture We need the salve the tablet the capsule of the hour Bring sword-eaters and those who will swallow fire Fetch the guardian to flatten the wheelchair, to hoist it toward heaven: the public shuttle awaits the ceaseless trips to the clinic. To the bedside manner summon witness: this medic’s disdain toward patients the physician’s dismissal of pain And call the druggist, again, to drug us senseless Bring a nomad to index our debts tuck each invoice into broken walls of regret Call the cleric the clerk the messengers divine
About the Author
Dilruba Ahmed’s debut book, Dhaka Dust, won the Bakeless Prize for Poetry awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Blackbird, Kenyon Review, New England Review,Ploughshares and Poetry. Her poems have also been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2019, Halal If You Hear Me, Literature: The Human Experience, Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry, and elsewhere. Ahmed is the recipient of The Florida Review’s Editors’ Award, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Fellowship in Poetry awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.