Mealtimes, we are always
angry. Rice sticks to my fingers
and burns. You can’t swallow
but we both chew quickly. The kettle
screams. Sometimes, we pull out the lawn chairs
and watch a neighboring city dance
on hot coals. It is refreshing. That,
we swallow, like cinnamon stuck
in my throat. You call your friends and try
to talk the ache out. I call your friends
and forget their names so I hang up.
I want to distill yesterday’s dinner
so I invite my friends over. Play
matchmaker with meats. Organized
death. When in public, we touch,
our hands a single semicolon,
before looking for other people
in crowds. We dress for outings
to avoid eye contact. We don’t wait
for each other to hold the door.
You should’ve married someone who
would pound your back when you choke
on food. I just sit
and hand you the water.
Farah Ghafoor is a sixteen-year-old poet and a founding editor at Sugar Rascals, a teen literary magazine. Her work is published or forthcoming in alien mouth, Words Dance, and Red Paint Hill, among other places and has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Farah is the recipient of the 2016 Alexandria Quarterly Emerging Artists and Writers Award. She believes that she deserves a cat. Find her online at fghafoor.tumblr.com.