Strings 1

‘dreams jangling with lost connections’

March 2024

A Survival Manual

‘Never trust a survivor . . . until you find out what he did to stay alive.’
— Kurt Vonnegut

I begged love
to be love
this time;
or I’d turn
into a statue.

I texted you:
It’s dangerous right here;
people are dying of heartbreak.
And I’m missing you.

You didn’t reply.

I would walk beside
my lovers afterwards,
holding their hands
making their bodies
a shield
while crossing the streets...

I didn’t want to die
in an accident
during the war.

DUA AL BOSTANI AL FATTOHI is a poet and English language teacher from Hama, Syria. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature. She writes poetry in both English and Arabic. Her work has appeared in harana poetry magazine, Ice Floe Press, Pamenar Online Magazine, Bad Lilies, Under the Radar, Field and others. Her poems in Arabic have appeared translated into both English and Italian in RIVISTA. She has been nominated for the 2021 Pushcart Prize.