i WAKE UP CURLED UP IN A C.D. WRIGHT POEM
Two dead sparrows assail the pavement ―
so much disappearing goes on unregistered,
my eyes a tedious and vivacious failure. The girls
in the cafes stroke their leashed peacocks
but I press on with syndicated diligence.
At the crossing, I pull a screw through my earlobe
and collect two drops of blood in the ditch
with all the grenade pins. Grenade, its shape
so much like the fruit they named it after,
pomegranate, from Latin pomum granatum,
(apple with many seeds), something
I can harvest and pick from a tree ―
a comfortable taste in my mouth, and yes,
fruit of the dead, or of fertility, depending
on whose sustenance to listen to. Etymology,
from the Greek logia (study of) and eutmus (true)
I cannot extract but touch like the feet
of my mother’s shrub in Kabul. I open my mouth
and marshal the fruit. Please hold me still, I beg
to the dirt, please touch
my thigh until I’m okay. I’m privileged
enough to think a border as another line to write
on until my shadow briefly spills ink
against cement. It’s 6:23, the pelt of morning
hanging thick above my curves.
Born to Afghan parents in Germany, Aria Aber now lives in New York, where she is a Writers in Public Schools fellow and MFA candidate in poetry at NYU. Her recent work is forthcoming from Prelude, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Margins, and Banango Street. She has been awarded fellowships from Kundiman and Dickinson House. You can follow her at ariamisha.tumblr.com.
Ayasha Guerin is an artist and writer based in Brooklyn. She is a Ph.D. candidate in New York University’s American Studies program and currently a research fellow at the Center for the Humanities. Her art and writing concern themes of the urban/natural, public and private space, ecology, community, and security. She shoots her analog photography on a Canon A-1 that has passed through three generations of her family.