You’re correct. Every nation hates
its children. This is a requirement of statehood.
This and empathy.
laying yourself down
in someone else’s chalklines
and snapping a photo. A Chrysler
with four bullet holes
in the rear passenger door
just drove by calmly, signaling
before it turned. Oh, Mrs. Evans,
you’re such a wonderful woman,
said, supposedly, Ethel Rosenberg
to the woman who walked her
to the chair.
It was empathy on Evans’s part.
Love on Ethel’s.
I am a wonderful woman
more often than I care to admit.
We are going to have
our first woman president.
From Customs: Poems by Solmaz Sharif. Copyright © 2022 by Solmaz Sharif. Reprinted with the permission of the Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Graywolf Press.