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She is determined to follow the smoke—a hymn / for what’s gone missing.
if you believe me to be your enemy know this I accept
How to put this: I’m alive.
under the dark sitting pretty / on the patch of hardwood floor / where confession / and callousness meet
The water flows through hollow bones and returns / as a song. It sounds familiar in the beginning / Then always changes.
The people behind bars are captives of war /
The people stolen into camps and cages /
speak it plain
some days my own womb shivers at the thought of / my black ass children being thrown / against any wall
the ones you call those frickin’ Ayrabs, the ones / who hold hands with / kiss cheeks with those they call / habibi & isn’t every habibi is a mis/-translation of? habibi
I claw / against the syrup to love other men / for whom, bless them, a bird is just / a bird.
turn me into a place like home to you. / Say my name like the stars and / Let’s go out tonight.
I wish for sex out / in the open, to have / some strange body / glide over mine, to collide / as if to butterfly / underwater required not one / but two sets of salty / chests & jutting / calves
The body just births more questions and that’s my future.
and don’t you ever forget / it takes practice to access what you demolished / when you see us / you feel something for the first time
I am a body surrendered fully to nature, captured in this house, left sitting on haunches in corners under blankets.
As if a country was not an ever-tightening feeling in my chest.
As if poetry was not an ever-tightening.
My heaven is / the cosmos is what all that space was built for.
there must be no mention of my migration or bravery; / if anyone reads poetry, let it only be an ode to green-tea donuts
they ain’t superhuman. ain’t always able / to save the children the men the country or even your silk presses / but whatever they touch. somebody’s good god blesses.
I don’t think you thought you’d appear / in my poem but here you are
I don’t know if I’ll ever go home again.
I don’t know who I’ve seen for the last time.
What kind of story would you like to write?
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