Two Poems

by Jenna Kilic-Somers

My Father Recites a Story in Low Voice:

This true story. Like many story happened
on caravan through desert. Do you know
I had revelation in An-Nafud
on way for Hajj in Mecca? It is true.
An angel came to me in double-helix
of sand to give me story. It is written,
you know? All written. Each of us has story.
Your mother was tired—pregnant and borborygmic
with your sister; she wanted insane gravy train
of mashed potatoes, and I, coup de grâce.
(This number one sin. You will go straight to hell.
Fire will burn you for eternity.
Don’t commit suicide.) The angel came,
sat beside me in car while I smoked a cigarette.
He took it from my mouth and threw it out.
The light died in the sand. “Do you need it?”
he asked me very judging-like. I didn’t.
It makes you thirsty, want to guzzle water.
Inside, you grow dark. Your heart—dark. I never
again smoked, and he showed us way to Mecca.
He left us big, shiny plate of dates.
This true and written story, do you know?
You know? Why don’t you answer me? You will
someday, Insha’Allah, you will answer Him.



While you are dead, I write
a poem, “My Father Recites a Story
in Low Voice.” Sister leaves
a message on my dead cell phone.

She tells me to call her back,
but I don’t know that yet, not until
the next morning. I capture you,
your broken English, the way you delete

minor verbs, “was,” “is.” How beautiful
your language is—was. Violent
in its staccato efficiency.


In its staccato efficiency,
your language is/was violent,
minor verbs, “was,” “is.” How beautiful:

you’re broken—English—the way you delete
the next morning. I capture you,
but I don’t know that yet, not until
she tells me to call her back.

A message on my dead cell phone:
in low voice, Sister leaves
a poem—“My father…”— recites a story
while you are dead. I write—


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About Jenna Kilic-Somers

Jenna Kilic-Somers received her MFA in Creative Writing from The Ohio State University, where she served as poetry editor of The Journal. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She grew up in North Fort Myers, Florida and lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Jenna Kilic-Somers

Jenna Kilic-Somers is online at