by Sujash Purna
Probably all my encounters
are existential jambalaya
long gasps of smokes
filtered through a grilled window
into the dark,
I was sitting at the desk, writing
stolen verses from dead writers,
when you came to my mind,
a gravel road at the end of a highway
I am proud of my weaknesses,
losing you through roiling sediments
of last night.
There is always an enervating
talk of the town. Every time you and I
walk inside the door, hand in hand,
there is a man accused and arrested
for the sole crime of existing.
We took the exit early trying to avoid
the rush, faces of men and women
new to this land, walking in pilgrimage,
the green junipers in awe let them
clear their heads one at a time.
I am amazed by their patience
with a time already stolen by their
colonizers, and here I am avoiding
making eye contact. A no-man
coming from a no-man’s-land:
you say shoes’ shoe and Joshua’s
It’s that simple.
I don’t correct them sometimes.
Sometimes I am one of them.
Bangladeshi-born Sujash Purna is a graduate student at Missouri State University. A poet based in Springfield, Missouri, he serves as an assistant poetry editor to the Moon City Review. His poetry appeared in Naugatuck River Review, Kansas City Voices, Poetry Salzburg Review, English Journal, Stonecoast Review, Red Earth Review, Emrys Journal, Prairie Winds, Gyroscope Review, and others. His first book of poems, Biriyani, came out from Ohio’s Poet’s Haven Author Series in 2018.