For Us

Be okay
not for me
but for you
I pray
just in case
for I never know what state your future is in
you care for it so much and yet you risk it relentlessly
travelling through different layers of the Earth
boiling yourself alive
staring down foxes in the night
moving up and down mountainsides
take care of yourself, please
for you
but maybe even for me;
my future looks a little like you
and I am not so willing to risk that.

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April 7th

Today, Amman had a pulse
and I was an electric sparkle
in her pretty green vein.

Yours

It came to me again:
I used my arm and pretended it was you
we can’t collide
not even in a dream
but call me ‘mine’
cause I think that’s what I am —
I think I’ve been it for a while.

Sick

Maybe it’s me
who drags my own sobbing body
who strings it up on that far-fetched branch
who watches from the foot of the tree
as I choke on that morning’s epiphany

Finger-paint the word across my own torso
red slur
‘Don’t talk to yourself that way,’ she says
‘It makes me so angry to hear you talk to yourself that way.’

But I still say it to myself in secret:
’You’re sick
and you’ll never make it out of your head alive.’

Not Mine

You’re lovely, sweet rabbit
but so am I
and we need to be equals;
those are your words, dear rabbit
not mine.

So I’ll take your time
if you care to give it
but I won’t chase you, my rabbit
not through field
not through forest
not through thicket.

An Afternoon with His Niece

I could mother her
teach every fear in my head to pronounce her name
take the dog’s dripping jaws in my side
a too small jacket, but she wanted mine
I smooth her hair back
follow the shape of her cheeks
it’s our turn in line:
“Hayati, what do you want?”
she looks up, his eyes
“Everything, everything.”
and it’s hers.

Realizations from Day 2

I loved like a little girl
too fast and too hard
too open-armed
crush my head beneath his chin
cradled violent
but he’s not a boy
and you can’t love him like he’s a boy
you can’t love him as a girl
you must love him as a woman
and a woman waits
she moves in maybes
she hesitates
she does not come before she is invited
she does not stay passed his liking
she does not cradle
she isn’t violent
she does not say it —
not even if  it’s true.

Hours

How many hours
does it take for you to miss me?
Do you have to slap your hand away, too?
Do you have to reprimand yourself like a child
suck on your knuckles to stop from reaching over and —
Do you have to gather your wits at night
to remember that I do
or almost do
that I could, pretty soon?
You’ll miss me, Pretty Soon
you’ll have to
you’ll have to.

Car Crash

I accept that everything happens for a reason. I only wish I knew what those reasons were. It’s the speculation that wears at me more than anything. When you’re as anxious as I am, it doesn’t take much to send you down a rabbit hole of your own thoughts. The slightest push and your foot slips, dirt crumbling beneath your heel. You fall and fall and your fears whisk by. You watch them go up and away as you go down and further down, until all at once you hit the bottom, the impact like a car crash.

But at the bottom there are no answers either. It’s silent. And dark. The only voice that comes to you is the echo of your own voice, bouncing off the walls. “God, let this be within your blessing,” your voice says. “God, let me have this thing, and let it be good.”

You look up at the hole from which you’ve fallen. You can see the sky, blue, and the grass at the edges of the hole, a green and marvelous crown, swaying in the sun. You wish you hadn’t been so foolish. You wish you had made better choices. But you know, in all honesty, that your decisions had felt good in the moment. They must have…

Still, there is nothing for it. You’re still down here, and the world up there. You make yourself small at the bottom of the hole, ashamed, and wait for the more clever version of yourself to wake up and pull you out.