Issue > Poetry
Soheila Ghaussy

Soheila Ghaussy

Soheila Ghaussy, born in Hamburg, Germany, grew up in Kabul, Afghanistan. She earned a Master's degree in English and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Hamburg, where she also served as an editor of the Hamburg Open Poetry Circle. She earned a doctorate in Comparative Literature after moving to the U.S. and is currently employed as a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Summer School In Kabul

In August, our June bugs riot and die.
With a shrill Allah-u-Akbar,
     they propel their metallic shell
up,  then kamikaze
into dull ponds—turn to shards
at our feet.

I put aside my Shahnamah, right
my veil. Some girls round up
for mid-day prayer. Even the flies,
spry past May,
clump around puddles—
their green mass catches
the black of my polyester dress.

Soon, our studies attune
with the bug buzz. Far and near,
little nuns bow with Zoroastrian zeal
five times to life in the flame. I sit cool
in full shade of the school yard's oak,
shoo gnats, spurn the bend and crack
of dry flax, and spike the joy

of boys who play boisterous ball,
all spring and dart away in fields,
where the sun battles grass.

Little Shaitans! How these
whippersnappers stress their reign
with kicking and dust-making.

I watch
a yellow-winged darter
land on straw, the pond stir
with air-diving and edge-crawling,
its lip suddenly free
from sweet green rot.
Dragonflies scan the home front, set for siege.

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