Ways to Harm a Thing
Throw scissors at it. Fill it with straw and set it on fire, or set it off for the colonies with only some books and dinner- plates and a stuffed bear named Friend Bear for me to lose in New Jersey. Did I say me? Things have been getting less and less hypothetical since I unhitched myself from your bedpost. Everyone I love is too modern to be caught grieving. In order to be consumed first you need to be consumable, but there is not a single part of you I could fit in my mouth. In a dream I pull back your foreskin and reveal a fat vase stuffed with crow feathers. This seems a faithful translation of the real thing. Another way to harm something is to melt its fusebox, make it learn to live in the dark. I still want to suck the bones out from your hands, plant them like the seeds we found in an antique textbook, though those never sprouted and may not have even been seeds. When I was a sailor I found a sunken ziggurat, spent weeks diving through room after room discovering this or that sacred shroud. One way to bury something is to bury it forever. When I was water you poured me out over the dirt.
Copyright © 2017 by Kaveh Akbar. From Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books, 2017). Used with permission of the author.