The Wild Fox of Yemen by  Threa Almontaser

The Wild Fox of Yemen

Threa Almontaser

In a very distinctive and unique style, mixing cultures and languages, a colourful palette of feelings - rebellion, submission, estrangement, compassion - comes to life. This powerful voice of a woman who uses metaphors and rhythm in a forceful, yet melodious way punches you in the gut or moves you by unexpected turns of phrase. The more often you read them, the more you will discover the hidden gems within these extraordinary poems.


Where did my old words go, my first words? I found my

native speech like a trap

door, the Arabic softening my fall. Now the words shed

from my mouth like deciduous teeth. Sometimes I dream

in Arabic without understanding. I search everyone’s pockets,

leave them hanging like panting tongues. I have been so careless

with the words I already have. I don’t remember how to say

grape or niece or bright. I try calling Arabic back like wild horses.

If I find them roaming a jilted road, sitting on an ancient turtle’s

back, dancing naked in the desert, I swear I’ll fishnet pronouns

so fast, swallow adjectives whole, knock verbs back with a burp.

Tonight, I will light a nar to eat the dark, make myself inviting,

tendrils of lost words floating back to me, getting cozy again

on the cushion of my tongue.

From Recognized Language

  • Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in her Head: poems by Warsan Shire
  • How To Cure A Ghost by Fariha Róisín
  • The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré