Trish Salah

3 Poems

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Every kind of hiding now. You cannot say “the war.” The dead are loud mouths. Looking forward to a copy of my copy. Care to hum a few bars? “Don’t you forget about me” or “All about Eve.” Home is a staging ground. Render unto gender what is gender’s, render unto race what belongs to race. What if I preferred a skinless cat? Disequilibrium of the punctum. News vacillates, unable to choose. The white van circles the block. Are you forensics or memorial? I will bury a hatched plan that didn’t go too well. You cannot say “the lover.” I will bury my consent in the alley behind your apartment in another century. How many piles of dishes this week? With great security comes great dread. Can I text you, or is that a trap? Dogs determine when we may enter and leave our home, even when we do laundry.  The mist rises around the fishing village. Fitbit or ipod? Romance for beginners. You cannot say “the people.” Hacking my own phone is plotting coincidence. At the theatre a cemetery may appear as scaffolding. Nodding the fuck off. Remember when we were hostages? Every day is hotter and more humid than the last. Did you take a novel to read at the march? Why are there always two cars parked in front of the neighbours’ house? Prayer or daydream? Nineteen is very different from this. Sure. Scrapheap or assemblage? You cannot say “I know.” Theft is gaudy today as perversion. A lucky rabbit’s shoe. We are stretching out the appointments, just in case. Is the light different from how you remember it? She is listening at the air vents again. I thought maybe with some couples’ counselling. The dark swirls like a peacock feather, composed entirely of yawning wider eyes.


In a window’s gape

feet bared to the breeze, and wet

eggplant nails glisten.



Changes to section six


Crossing vision is one of the first exercises. Free your inner century. Attempt a clap that resounds on the molecular level. Prairie attention to rising storms. Kin for barns, of barns. Animal is an easel state. Blood rumours thickly, indolent. Bridle is not a metaphor. Mark this in thin perforation, like a colander hide. Gas may burnish or absolve. Many works begin in confusion of hybridities. Declaim is better than absolve under the present conditions of history. Templars mystify both affect and empire. Futurisms most often retrofitted. Go to the moons your mothers made, go to the moons left by your uncles and aunties of generations, go to the moons your father was so proud to have “discovered.” Sip your glib wine enough to sooth the fears, your fractured egg. A wound around wound is old and jealous. Go on. And in six times six years, partition a new section. Attempt a clap that renounces.

Palm reading


Give my regards to the heat, oppressive, rather tenuous

though it is. Mental health if that is the word for unsleeping

dreadful, melancholy and spoken to, in the night, by spirits.


I wish to commit myself or leave the country or something.

I am feeling a little too much like a plant burnt brown

in a too well lit room, like a rummage sale closed at five,

like aged steppes under horses, a nation after nations at war.


Perhaps it is just a bad day?

But do you have another day in you somewhere?


What would I rescue, given the chance?

What abandon to pay the price?

Asks the oldest question guilt knows

or envy. A wish I may a wish I might?


What reams of lately from tumbling should I flee?

Do you enter, do you picture, do you flit or

too fawning, face?


Against reams in or of the cast out and restless; dreams

in a basin of mornings, a dusk between stalled

dreams, hooked as buried words, slights awakened,

once more. Dreams so dead the answer they answer

is ground upon ground, plucked wings, gristle to

teeth and bones and wistful grist of lovely prey gone by.