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Bay Poets

"Dear England" by poet Antony Fangary

Antony Fangary is a writer and visual artist living in San Francisco. He was awarded the 2023 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and is the author of HARAM (Etched Press 2019). His work has received support from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the Center for Cultural Innovation.

dear england

i told a sa/idi joke at my grandfather/s eulogy

imagine that

a room full of egyptians

mourning and laughing in english

speaking your spill/motor oil silting

we hear you in every word/england

strung out in the room

gripping a map of africa with one hand

a butter knife in the other

scraping names

blotting lines

gidu told me an english soldier killed his father after the occupation

two generations later

we are in this room

jowls marred

by that same bullet

your language

always held like heavy rocks in gidu/s mouth

wilted his words into flaps of themselves

he would call me khoaga

laugh at my weak tongue

and i think of shells

splitting cobras

my family from the mouth