Written in Arlington

During the month of April 2020, Arlington Poet Laureate Emerita Katherine E. Young is posting poems from the forthcoming anthology Written in Arlington, which showcases the poets and poems of Arlington, Virginia.

The Kent Narrows
by Tod Ibrahim

This is what I know: your eyes always seem
more green in my mind. That is what I’ll keep.
Everything else goes to the next the way
it came to me. I’d like to think I’m giving
more than I took, but I know selfishness.
So, in turn for keeping the memory

of your eyes, I give you nakedness
and afternoons alone together, I give you
everything you told me and everything
I thought. In turn for keeping, I understand
the world through your eyes and see the stars
moments before the sky, feel you sitting

on the last step, your feet bare to the sand,
your eyes to the Atlantic, your back full
to the sun setting. I’d always thought we’d lose
our bodies and from there form wonder.
I’d always thought we’d lose ourselves and
form nothing. The line between wonder,

nothing is the unseen between late afternoon
and dark, where I am now, stopping near the end
of a two-mile backup at the Kent Narrows Bridge.
With the road longer this late, the body
moves outside, making the outside part of the body,
making the darkness more lamp black within me. 

These things move up through the stillness,
through the body, up from the road to the sky.
And waiting for the bridge to come down,
I think of you heading up the stairs, your feet
bare to the wood, your back full to the water,
your eyes green to the sky. 

Tod Ibrahim, two-time recipient of George Washington University’s Jenny McKean Moore scholarship for poets, holds a Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is Executive Vice President of the American Society of Nephrology. A fragment of “The Kent Narrows” was selected for the 2001 Moving Words program on the ART buses.

Written in Arlington / Spoken in Arlington is a print and digital collection of the poets and poems of Arlington, VA, edited by Katherine E. Young and published by Paycock Press (forthcoming, fall 2020). It is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts. For more information, visit Arlington Arts.

Image: After the Rain mixed media/collage on canvas by Anya Getter (fragment)

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1 Comment

  1. Phyllis Wax

     /  April 13, 2020

    Beautiful poem, skillfully written.


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