Courtyard Goddess

The doorman kept tabs for any hint of illicit love. His apartment was the cracked open door by the stairs. Twice now, the military had rung the doorbell which played chimes to the sound of London Bridge falling down, falling down, and twice, the apartment caretaker,...

Notes of a Flower Boy

I still don’t know the language of love Every girl has my father’s face.   On a summer train ride from Kazan to Volgograd I leave the radio talking to itself at home There are roughly 1,137 silences I fill my mother gently into every silence.   My body is so...

In Deep

It’s evening in the desert and we’re moving against the current toward a building with a cheap buffet. Before we make it to the door, you’re holding your breath, shutting your eyes because my brother’s children won’t walk with you as grandkids do; they move like a...

Habibi

Habibi is what your face looks like in the morning Moving through me quietly and before me then When you kiss me good night and fall asleep first To the blaring news of death from far and near   Kismat is locking eyes at that meeting we were both asked Not to...

Not Because They Hate Us

—after Tao Te Ching   I spent prom night In the school’s handball courts playing Pachuco with my friends— Boys trained like dogs to look down,   Hands on their head, legs spread— Ricocheting the tiny, atomic-blue Rubber racquetball as hard As our budding...

Boxes Filled with Empty Promises

Boxes filled with empty promises of love filled to the brim with clothes and shoes nothing I would ever wear empty promises these are excuses to spend money to use money and objects in order to prove our love.   I was always dreamy but also perspicacious and as a...

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