Guglielmo

by A. R. Zarif

A. R. Zarif is from Chicago. His work has been featured or is forthcoming in BOAAT, Foundry, Muzzle Magazine, Frontier Poetry, The Wilds, NECK, Two Peach, Ninth Letter, Cosmonauts Avenue, and Bennington Review. He holds an MFA from Brown University.


 

As much my own as I am my owner’s
hand to me is good & I’m young
as Hercules. the face I think I see is mine.

I wake up and am good at shouting I’m
twenty twistings of my years around her
fingers. a little dizziness pushes me onto

her & we talk until my ears unhook from the wall.
my windows rattle at the lungs of
the gloomy thunder breeze. she swings me to rest.

arriving at the park I am pleading like
the sugar in early carrots. I outrun the
other dogs despite my asthma. I catch

smells: lemons, beaujolais, golfing
I rest like a glove left on the grass. ants
make no music across me

I drink in little sips to resemble her
I must not bite I hush I must dig carefully
designed holes in the ground I cannot attend
the events of my language

I burst cardinals in my mouth and the red pieces
tickle my cuticles like perfume

I am shredded with her
& pierced from the top of my heart until
the sun falls down the stairs
in the dark my eyes are yellow and kicked open.

near her mouth, I used to be a wolf
I sweat and she sees tears, there are six hours
until she wakes

I fight the other dogs, I am her invention
in the room of my life my eyes are
clean as the water between sharks.
the blood on the other dog’s mouth is not mine

I am the sum of the smell of sulfur,
smolder, selflessness & the names
you give me before we sleep
in all the languages I cannot vote in,

my sky is like a cheerleader marooned in the air
my mind rests like a dozen handsome pilots

I am half ghost and half ghost
my thoughts are flushed from my skin by your hand I am
in the tomorrow of your hand &
your calm world is mine

 


A. R. Zarif is from Chicago. His work has been featured or is forthcoming in BOAAT, Foundry, Muzzle Magazine, Frontier Poetry, The Wilds, NECK, Two Peach, Ninth Letter, Cosmonauts Avenue, and Bennington Review. He holds an MFA from Brown University.

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