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from the August 2015 issue

writing you

how to write you
when the letters are reluctant to sound out
voices i knew
voices i memorized
rush back into loneliness
only stillness now
even that soon moves away
far to the edge of desolation
suspicious of any poetry
even to exchange a hello
moreover words when spelled out
can turn into a row of pain
instantly in every space

how to write you
when the pages close themselves
the paper lays the body face down
covering it with a sheet that quivers from throbbing
pens and cursors
scattered leaving behind stories
i’ve an impression
those too soon enough turn to vapor
doubting every dream
of even saying salaam
moreover sentences when composed
instead of masquerading become sobs
instantly everywhere

oh lord! my hand then shrinks and withers
and with tapering fingers pricks desire
and with that halting the supple veins on the joints
how the clench I thought collapsed in asking
was rubbed by an outlandish certainty
that sprayed plaintive sweat
smeared by curses good grief! and swearing
desire too quickly attained
very soon caressed by tangled exhaustion
and that’s the way it was later
my palm resigned to resting
on desire still hopeful

can you only be felt
while taste is the experience of each of us
until you possess a range of understanding
untraceable by any and all senses
with no time limit however brief
then you intentionally slip longing
on each breeze converging
to then pit melancholy ’gainst action
time booked time and time again

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