the drive-up microphone at burger king

the body’s in the back. we order
short fries, small fork, an extra credit card

machine. we are a machine. the body’s now our front-
seat driver, driving backward into— Read more →

Two Poems

When Farmer Yon says “people have died,
you must breathe,” it is 4 am
on a rooftop in Lahore. My hand is as numb
as an ice-carved statue and I’m
looking at the stars because just like my
ancestors, I still don’t know their names. Read more →

Lessons in Cartography

I don’t like it when people say I’m growing like a weed. In Madabec, weeds grow beside the highway. They get buried in dirt and choked with road salt. They get stuck living out their days under power lines while everyone drives past on their way to some place better. Weeds don’t go places. I’m no goddamn weed.

Neither is Simon but he keeps forgetting.

I guess it’s hard for him to imagine on account of his grandma always going at him. She’s meaner than a snake and calls him stupid and useless because he did grade eight twice. Read more →

The Necessity of City Walls

Arnold knocks on my door and asks me to turn down the music. His face is red, but his face has been red since I was a child. Arnold doesn’t raise his voice. He stands sweating and straining against his wet white dress shirt until he’s satisfied with the decibels. Only then does he leave, puttering down my flagstone path toward the road, avoiding the lawn that is an inch or two longer than he prefers.
“You know you can always just text me, Dad,” I yell to him as he hits the sidewalk. He waves me off and then begins climbing the steps back into his formerly immaculate house next door. “It’s not that hard, I promise.” Read more →

Excerpt from Questions, a work in progress

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We are landlocked creatures, and the birds know better. They teach us about lightness, coasting, and enjoying the in-between, as they hang on updrafts of wind, wingtips gripping the swells as they float— Read more →