Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry
Issue 2 | Winter 2011

flushing to grand central
through delhi, seoul, ciudad de mexico,
fruit peddlers with steel carts—
sliced mangoes, guinepas, big apples,
these are the borders you rode across mornings eastwards

without internal country, where do you ride:
grand central, rush hour time square,
numbered veins and disintegration
strapped on high school backs?

true words, let it be—the creation words, an imam
wrapped in your blood and skin.

II. apples

a plucked apple outside fourteen nights,
slackens skin enough to say
not this not this.

the dead's skin loosens, grey, gathers in pleats—

—there used to be life, there in those rigid hands;
breath in those dried lips,
will never again part to—i love you,
meri jaan.

the body slackens into dust—into the dreaming
of the surviving—throats continue the dead's prayers.

the smallest heart houses the memory of the faded
flesh, carried in the trunk of the skittish thrush: