Poem of the Week: He Who is Good with Swords by Fatimah Asghar

after francine j harris

When I finally reach the end of him
I fault him most for his plain name.

The way it shows up everywhere, dirtying
the party, tracking in mud from parks, pages

of books, neighborhoods I have no interest
in. It arrives on my doorstep,

smearing the welcome mat. Sweet as a sugar
cube. It’s in my tea now. Dissolving

with the water. His name is in my spit.
I cannot unswallow him.  He is on the

mouth of all the lovers whose lips I lick.
I always thought I would love a man

with the name of a god. I always pictured
a glorious death ––

running into a house ablaze, saving babies
from the fire, kissing a bullet for someone

I loved. Not this simple name. Not the way
he is on every woman’s tongue. Not

the way he is everywhere, and I still
managed to lose him. 

*Originally published in The Paris-American*


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