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Shadab Zeest-Hashmi

 

 

 

Tongue

 

 

The tongue in the Dictionary 

 

   does all the defining

 

(It will never 

 

   be tried 

 

at the Hague)

 

 

 

is a translucence

 

    milked from a mature snake

 

 

is the velvet click

 

    of a drone attack

 

 

is that lusty flicker

 

    you and I saw at a mass grave

 

 

 

 

 

Shadab Zeest Hashmi's Baker of Tarifa, a book based on the history of

 

interfaith tolerance in Al Andalus, won the 2011 San Diego Book Award for 

 

poetry. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple 

 

times, and have been translated into Spanish and Urdu. She is the winner 

 

of the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize and her work has appeared in Poetry 

 

International, The Cortland Review, Vallum, Nimrod, Atlanta Review, The Bitter 

 

Oleander, Drunken Boat, RHINO, Journal of Postcolonial Writings, Spillway, 

 

The Adirondack Review, and is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner and Wasafiri, 

 

among other journals. She represents Pakistan on the website UniVerse: A 

 

United Nations of Poetry, and has taught in the MFA program at San Diego State 

 

University as a writer-in-residence. She is a guest columnist for 3 Quarks Daily. 

 

Kohl and Chalk is her new book of poems.