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.
Copyright © 2021 by S.J. Ghaus.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
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.
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).