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A Vision

From "Without an Alphabet, Without a Face" by Saadi Youssef (Graywolf: 190 pp., $16)

January 12, 2003|Saadi Youssef

This Iraq will reach the ends of the graveyard.

It will bury its sons in open country

generation after generation,

and it will forgive its despot....

It will not be the Iraq that once held the name.

And the larks will not sing.

So walk -- if you wish -- a long time.

And call -- if you wish -- on all the world's angels and all its demons.

Call on the bulls of Assyria.

Call on a westward phoenix....

Call them

and through the haze of phantoms

watch for miracles to emerge

from clouds of incense.

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