After the flood
– after Nazim Hikmet
Said my father who dove and rode the sea
on a turtle, who speared a squid
and held it up so I could see, my name
was Freedom first. What he held
I put my ear to after waking.
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A finalist for the 2012 OSU/The Journal Award in Poetry and Alice James Books Beatrice Hawley Award, Janine Joseph’s poems are forthcoming from or have appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Asian American Literary Review, Best New Poets 2011, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Third Coast, and elsewhere. She also wrote a commissioned libretto, entitled “From My Mother’s Mother,” for the Houston Grand Opera’s “Song of Houston: East + West” series. Janine is a PhD candidate at the University of Houston.