Sarah Sarai’s poems are in Queen Mob’s Tea House, Posit, Susan The Journal, The Collagist, Barrow Street, Sensitive Skin, Painted Bride Quarterly, Minnesota Review, Mississippi Review, Boston Review and other journals; in Geographies of Soul and Taffeta (Indolent Books); The Future is Happy (BlazeVOX); and in anthologies including Like a Fat Gold Watch: Meditations on Sylvia Plath and Living and Transition: Poems in the Aftermath. She lives in New York City.
I gave her backbone.
I told her, “You’re a cool cat.”
She said, “I wear my heart on my ankle,
And my head has burst into bloom.”
“You have become a flesh-garden flower.”
I did not warn her of the cold.
Or how the world will cut and encase you
Until you wither.
You cannot dress up an ugly truth,
and a naked body does not need more.
THE REVERSIBLE LOBOTOMY OF CONFUSION
Her life, a proper noun till
the improper ones.
The gay bar where.
The dyke pool hall when.
That demand for balance
way before anyone cared.
Astronomical oppositions ravaging
her astronomical chart.
Ping-ponged, sling shot,
she is a wars-of-the-universe re-enactor.
The rock, hard place.
That suburban desert between.
She pities not-knowers in crinoline
nervous to be near, to be
her. Fearful of association’s challenge.
Enter the lesser halves.
The husbands swish-shoe
appalled by strength and shamed by
wealth, they. She didn’t
write the script she revises.
Articles of a sound constitution
see her into middle age as strong in
her belief we are all cross-dressing.
NO ONE ASKS
Did Jesus Christ love himself?
Jesus who spent all of
forty days and forty nights
where pilgrims and the Prophet,
praise his name, prayed?
Jesus who saw god, the
one, the mountain burning,
the desert wandering,
the god who must transform
for the world to.
We all resist temptation.
We’d all be happy or
dead if we didn’t.
(Mom died, a blessing.
She was eighty-six and
willful like us.)
Mary prays when there’s
an amber alert.
I touch her foot to conquer
a polychrome snake’s faded slither.