To Revolt Is To Insist On Joy

— Nur Turkmani

Today my steps are finally light,
and the pale afternoon is a little breath.
I love cauliflower with turmeric,
the taste of sweet olive oil,
the rubber trees, how we really belong
to all of this, how the universe is as old
as it is young, and what a thought.
I am sending you a long voice note
about how so much has changed.
Nothing I say will be new,
you’ve heard it all before and still, I think,
I know—you will listen. Anyways.
You can’t see the waves from here
but they remind me of that day,
the last time we stood close. What generous sun.
To have lived is to have seen,
and come to think of it, we haven’t seen much.
I call my mother, and my mother
calls my brothers, and my father
is such a good man. The gardenia
is sprouting after I’d given up on it.
The grass is shooting, like stars,
in too many directions at once.
Look, there. I am stopping to lay in this patch,
they haven’t stolen it—yet. Even tragedy
has a shape, can be uprooted. The sea is breaking,
again and again, like our flimsy hearts. Nothing dies.
Smell this yellow flower, so little, here.
The poems weren’t lying. It’s true.
It’s true it’s true it’s true


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