Mariia Honcharova CC
Stupid stoop kids waiting on the night to
open, like a lily, like a warm mouth.
We sit and melt clocks, eat the hot summer
air with syrup, the red coke can jewelling
in the dark. In the dark, the city rats
tender to each other, scavenge glitter
and rot. Big mouthed fool, I would give away
each unborn sheet of rain, every baby
leaf for this stoop, the flowing syrup, the
kiss in the sun. We burn hours, light the
next smoke. Under the street lamp’s hot moon, I
watch your hands talk. This home is a boat for
all: it opens like a lily when some-
-one laughs, slips a secret, begins to sing.
Thicket of time first blooms, then razes, like a wave.
To my Brother with the rough morning snore that now bloats
through this childish dawn--
Can you feel the days heaving towards their final, bony full stop?
How familiar these moments: the wet green rooms we once used to walk in
with furious elbows, glistenkids collecting sandpaper calendars for their eventual prickly years.
The four of us, meanchins out to the dusking sky, ready for the outside’s anything.
Afternoons sprouted their sweet, fruity hours, then melted in the sun.
Heavy into the night’s soupy curve we slept, unaware we were growing.
Beautiful protectors of no one, fatfisted and always fighting,
we hid and sought in the shimmering dark, stupid florets cusping in the home’s ordered chaos.
This is how to look like a girl, L once told me, silver butterfly clips eating her brown hair.
If something slithered, hurt, or died outside, I wouldn’t have known.
Fatima Jafar is a poet from Karachi, Pakistan who currently lives in Boston, where she is an MFA candidate in Poetry at Emerson College. She is a Poetry Reader for Muzzle Magazine and Redivider. Her work has been published (or is forthcoming) in The Pinch Journal, dreams walking, Jamhoor and more. She is the co-creator of the South Asian literary platform, DHOOP Journa
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.