this poem
Wahida Omar


i will start by writing this poem
because i don't want to write this poem
because i don't want to write this
day or
that day or
say hello
to summer, or

the broken wasp
on the concrete, how
the warm
wet wind set it
down at my feet the way
it crawled
and crawled and
is crawling

i held him while
it happened while
i made it
happen while
in his ear
in his ear

today is not the hot that bakes clean it is not
the hot that turns
over it is not
hot like seven-
teen it is not

snake mackerel

on the patio, sharing
shimi if
i hold out my
palm i will
show my cards and
the callus where
the hole was, i will


the super-white
tuna which is
not tuna which is
which can make
hot yell-
ow oil
fall out of your


but i didn't say that, they
didn't say that, i
like that it is
creamy i like
that i am
holding your



let me
lend you a cigarette

let me tell you
your name is not
your name.