Dana Alsamsam

On the Porch

of my childhood home     Orion’s belt confronts me
I tell him everything’s changed     even the coffee in the cupboard

I have a right to stand still     to regress     My dad joins me
after the house has gone to sleep     our necks wilt     fall

to the side like poppies     betray the ways we miss her
my mother     the ways we missed her then     even when we met

each night around the dinner table     all either of us wanted
some small measure of warmth     We talk across the span of 3 AM

profiles sipping Glenlivet     comb through combinations of words
to describe it     clear as a waist of stars     in all the languages

we halfspeak     consult Hafiz and Ghalib about my slanting body
his failing body     search for our beloveds in missing persons

reports knowing the legers don’t hold their bones     the dirt does
and other arms do     We attempt to rescue one another

from this undying variety of loss     turn what is left
and what we are left with     in our mouths     This taste becomes

permanence     takes seed     It will grow in the front yard     though far
from warmth     an olive tree we can sleep under     and eat from


Dana Alsamsam is the author of a chapbook, (in)habit (tenderness lit, 2018), and her poems are published or forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, The Massachusetts Review, North American Review, Gigantic Sequins, Tinderbox Poetry, The Boiler Journal, Salamander, BOOTH and others. Her work has been supported by a fellowship from Lambda Literary’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices.

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