Kevin Blankinship


Dead sea of hoary dust begins to glow
so bright it drags the teardrops off my face
and leaves a woolly sprinkle in their place
like shards of angry lilies pale as snow.
An elemental ocean here below
while up above the plated crystals brace
into a briny membrane all apace
forming a crop of rhomboids in a row.
Did Carthage razed and ruined look so fair?
One pinch over the shoulder whips the ghouls—
a glance from Lot’s wife cast her anchor there
in snowy stone shut up with brackish jewels.
You, fairest white, embrace me with a breath.
You who at once preserve and proffer death.

Kevin Blankinship is a contributing editor at New Lines Magazine and a professor of Arabic at Brigham Young University. He has written essays in The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Foreign Policy and more, and his poetry has appeared in Better Than Starbucks, Gingerbread House, and Blue Unicorn, among others. He is @AmericanMaghreb on Twitter.