I’m allergic to hair dye and silver. Of the natives,
I love the Aztecs most of all, the way they lit fires
in the gouged chests of men to keep the world spinning.
I’ve seen women eat cotton balls so they wouldn’t eat bread
I will never be as beautiful as the night I danced in a garage,
anorexic, decked in black boots, black sweater, black jeans,
hip-hop music and a girl I didn’t know pulling my hips
to hers. Hunger is hunger. I got drunk one night
and argued with the Pacific. I was twenty. I broke
into the bodies of men like a cartoon burglar. I wasn’t twenty.
In the winter of those years I kept Christmas lights
strung around my bed and argued with the Italian landlady
who lived downstairs about turning the heat off,
and every night I wanted to drink but didn’t.
I talk back to the videos. Someone ate paper. Someone isn’t eating anymore.
Mornings like this, I wish I never loved anyone. What is it to be a lucky city, a row of white houses strung with Christmas lights.
There is no minute
A fortuneteller told me I’d marry one of Aleppo’s sons. That was seven years ago.
Yesterday I dreamt my grandmother was a child who led me by the hand to a cave. Inside I found the wolf. I buried a dagger in his hot throat.
This is the dark the world let in, and learned
:: to stomach
:: to shoulder
:: to keep
I woke up with my hands wet.
They are just
This ugly human impulse to make it mine.
The Syria in my grandmother is a decade too old. When she dies, she will take it with her.
This is how a lone bomb can erase a lineage: the nicknames for your mother, the ghost stories, the only song that put your child to sleep.
No one is evacuating me.
Your citadel fed to the birds. Your mosque. Someone will make an art project out of your tweets.
The prophet’s birthday arrives without a single firework.
Surrender. Or die.
In the city bombs peck the streets into a braille that we pretend we cannot read. A street fool of
:: girl bodies
:: cooked hearts
Meanwhile, the wolf sleeps in his wolf palace. He drops each ghost into a water hole and licks his perfect teeth.
We could paper all of Arkansas with your missing.
May you give us nowhere else to look. May you burn every newspaper with your name on it. Every textbook. Every memorial.