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13 Hours in the Future

For Mahdar

I am 13 hours in the future & it is night / the rain is holding her breath

my friend, isn’t Penang opening to us! / a lotus unveiling a carnival

the paper lanterns are skirts / or balls pushed along by tiger’s nose

our smoke is a canon / dare devil on its way to an unnamed star

my own sweat: a disco ball jumpsuit / I sway when I walk / a mirage

I imagine myself a sheath / transparent / all light shining through me

I know only one person in this city & the only thing that will soften

the heart / is to open / delicately / petal by petal / until pollen exposes

itself / like a nipple. / My friend! / Tonight the sky is cotton candy

vines paw the trees / the air is tender / hilarious / there is desperation

bread on the table / there are cigarette bones / lazy in the ashtray

there is curry / suspended / like summer snow / & ease whistles out

into the street / there is the street / right here in my palm / I can touch it

there are no walls between us / this is what it feels like to be borderless

unanchored / cracked down the middle / all sin pulled out / left curled

in a basket of snakes / dead there is a man / who is hungry / & when

you feed him / he sits & when you ask / his name / he cries.

*Originally published as Split This Rock’s Poem of the Week

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