S. J. Ghaus

after Intersections, by Anila Qauyyum Agha

Ya Allah,     When, at last, I walk through your house,                                                                   I will change it.Break the windows                                          Defeat the kitchen, where you’ve spent hoursdevising with dust. I will walk                                                                           barefootinto your shadows                          and stir them up, like a river. Like the waterI’ll pourfrom my hands onto your green floors, now                                                glistening with glass dewand sabaah. I’ll kick the quiltsinto a pile                      and throw your cushions at the doors,which I will unhinge. Is it even your house,                      in the end? We are sittingafter all, in the residues of my life. All the motes of itmaking a noise, blue-black                       as a summer cicada. My dead skincan’t help but muddy your world. The walls                        of which are infinite and cut                                              with precision. This cannot bea museum. Dear collaborator,I mean to say,                        you invited me in — my brain                                        and bone and beatingheart. While you shine in the center                        like a constant star,I toss my orbit. Offer my shadow                    and moonlight. Pullat the clean carpets until                                                they are markedwith a thousand flighty circles. I don’t belong                                                here. I do. I will bea freeand roving atom                                            in this careful space. I willbe raucous and toucheverything with my love. At the end,                         after the last salaam has been whisperedover my shoulder, I will not                        be sorry for what messI made here.         I will be joy                     — and you, too.

Feature Date


Selected By

Share This Poem

Print This Poem

Photo of SJ Ghaus

S. J. Ghaus is a Pakistani American poet, organizer, and community gardener. Bay Area-raised with a brief stint in Ohio, they are back in the Midwest as an MFA candidate at Indiana University where they also serve as Poetry Editor of the Indiana Review. They are a VONA/Voices of Our Nation Fellow and the recipient of the 2020 Vera Meyer Strube Academy of American Poets Award, and you can find their work on poets.org and Poiesis. When not writing or reading, they can be found in their garden or on a bike, singing very loudly.

Cover of w the trees Poesis 2.1

Volume 2.1 Winter/Spring 2021

Bloomington, Indiana

Organized By
Bella Bravo
Michelle Gottschlich
Rose Zinnia

w the trees is a publisher of a journal (poiesis), curator of a reading/performance series (syzygy), & an experiment in creative collaboration :: it is a coalition of friends, a tender mode of being w, a gathering of care, a deep listening toward, a community of polyversic queerness, a breathing w each other, a book maker, a digital spectre, spirit-matter, a multifocal abundance of we, a togethering/gathering of earth ::

w the trees dwells in Bloomington, Indiana, but transgresses colonial concepts of border & time. It is a collaboration between the living, the dead, the in-between. We ‘remember the future’ AND ‘imagine the past’ (Carlos Fuentes) and ‘get together to figure out how to get together’ (Fred Moten).

Poetry Daily Depends on You

With your support, we make reading the best contemporary poetry a treasured daily experience. Consider a contribution today.