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Category archive for: Kaveh Akbar

Before you Left on Your Journey Which Has Kept You Away for So Long

I made a map of myself and tucked it in your bag

wondering if you would need it at allhere the skinny weeds

you told me to pluckhere the fingerbonehere

the white bellyscar where you tore out a mole with your teeth

none of that was new but I am learning to be more surprising

there is this trick where I hide behind a banana leaf

and become a starfish any part of me you remove

will grow back I nearly have it mastered

remember my tongue clapping for yours like a scallop

how it was always oafish and eager with its language

of pure babybrained devotion it was so simple

unembarrassed even by your great eloquence

slowly my whole face has been changing rocky and geologic

it is becoming less like a rose and more like a thornbush

from a sermon about a thornbush which when torn up

and swallowed could feed a hungry village for a month

if you look around you will see the vanishing has widened

water pots boiled drylimestone carvings rubbed smooth

there is a tender rot in everythingthe note you left

which once read what I must bearnow begins my very brave boy

from Poetry Northwest 11.1 Summer & Fall 2016More by Kaveh Akbar from the library

Copyright © Kaveh Akbar
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.