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Bring Now the Angels: Poems
by Dilruba Ahmed
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020
eISBN: 978-0-8229-8730-7 | Paper: 978-0-8229-6607-4

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
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 loss—of 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—

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