Poems and Texts

Excerpt from Chronology by Zahra Patterson

Emmanuel Iduma & Zahra Patterson
Friday, January 25, 2019


It’s Friday. Raining. April 10.

A lover asked about my tattoo and I told her about you. I wonder, if you were alive, would I have told her about you? Would I be telling you about her?

I am at the Science, Industry and Business Library. I had requested a six-volume set of dictionaries to help me get your language into mine, as I attempt to translate Yvonne Nei’s short story. However, it is a one-way dictionary. For English speakers only. There is no Southern Sesotho into English section.

This is frustrating because I have wasted my time in coming here, to this library. It is frustrating politically, too.


Zahra Patterson

Zahra Patterson is the author of Chronology (Ugly Duckling Presse 2018) and a Community of Literary Magazines and Presses Face Out Fellow. Her short pieces have appeared in Kalyani Magazine and The Felt, and her work has been supported by Mount Tremper Arts. She is a youth educator, and previously directed the community arts project Raw Fiction. Her current research is an investigation of the history of de/segregation in America’s schools. She holds an MFA in Writing from Pratt Institute.

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