Nathalie Handal

1969 / French / Palestinian / American

The Hawk Quartet

I
You greet me only with your eyes.
That evening you write to me
on a starless night,
I imagine my response-
I never write back.

II
Years later, we meet. We try
to say something but don't.
One month later, you drown yourself
in a tunnel of red.

III
Another year passes.
While on a train,
the sky hiding please,
I share a seat with a man you loved,
between us a crack, beside us a window of hard tears
and for a second, I hear the roar you hid under the chair.

IV
Months later, sheets of paper,
like a limping movement, slip from the table
slowly to the cement floor.
I pick one up and there I find your note,
Your final line,
I follow birds that either migrate or prey. And you?

I sit to write but find nothing-
like a hawk unable to find its quartet
even in his stink-
only loneliness can understand.
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