Aricka M. Foreman


(for pegah emambakhsh)


please forgive me

where i was when they came


i can't remember


moments in bone beneath coarse skin atop fist

then sun blind as i called out to you

baton opened my head like a pink lotus

the black hot sack pulled over my nose

this fragile body once a nook between thigh

and pelvis, thrown as wheels turned over every stone


so many boots jammed between ribs


when i woke, each inch of vein beneath tissue atop muscle, blue

plum pulse hesitant to pump life here

there is no life here

dirt where there should be food

damp air replacing our after smell


it has been four days. they have searched for traces of your hands

remnants of lip and soft tongue and still no evidence


come dawn the guards collect broken cliffs along the road leading here

for palms that cup fury tight, then release


when rock tears flesh and they have dismantled me

a sacred house, they'll never find the buried box

where pandora saved you for last

never to drag you back here

back home





lahore lover

you soft parnassius, this is not your fault

how rare your sticky wings; that my chest

had to be split open to free you. when they

fished my bloated bruised body from canal

how heavy your burden, humid air displaced

as new lover's breath coerced by father

bids you wife. how did our hymns turn war

crimes? our bodies yet collapsed as rubble

our limbs arched over atmosphere, empty and

waiting for first kiss. to call these beating

hearts unholy, as if gods resemble the same

sunset twice, mold glass from identical

grains of sand. keep me folded in your cheek

speak me as if we only had one name