He Who is Good with Swords
after francine j harris
When I finally reach the end of him
I fault him most for his plain name.
The way it shows up everywhere, dirtying
the party, tracking in mud from parks, pages
of books, neighborhoods I have no interest
in. It arrives on my doorstep,
smearing the welcome mat. Sweet as a sugar
cube. It’s in my tea now. Dissolving
with the water. His name is in my spit.
I cannot unswallow him. He is on the
mouth of all the lovers whose lips I lick.
I always thought I would love a man
with the name of a god. I always pictured
a glorious death ––
running into a house ablaze, saving babies
from the fire, kissing a bullet for someone
I loved. Not this simple name. Not the way
he is on every woman’s tongue. Not
the way he is everywhere, and I still
managed to lose him.
155 The Paris-American
Fatimah Asghar is a poet and performer. She is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and has been published in Drunken Boat, Solstice, Word Riot, Muzzle Magazine, DecomP, Fringe, and many others. In 2011 she created Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first Spoken Word Poetry group, REFLEKS, while on a Fulbright studying theater in post-genocidal countries and now serves as the Director of Community Arts for the Redmoon Theater in Chicago.
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