Society

by qisasukhra

A poem by Mohab Nasr, which can be found here, on the Sultan’s Seal. Other new poems by Mohab Nasr are here.

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.

Society. Brother,

I don’t know what to make of this word,

though I cross the distance between my bedroom and the kitchen

without feeling it at all.

Though when my wife winks at me

or kicks my ankles underneath the table

I try to look as though I understand,

and turn my head as though

it will walk by.

“It musn’t see you this way,” she says

and I put out my cigarette in a hurry.

.

When the wind is so strong

we have to run against it, she tells me,

“It is right behind us,”

but I feel

light, a rumour

no one can catch.

.

Sometimes my wife and I perform.

One stands over a chair, the other

falls with eyes inquiring.

One opens their arms to the sky,

the other cries,

My God, society’s so beautiful.

.

Because she believed, she would dream

and remembered her dreams.

Society, too, comes in sleep,

and I must listen when she wakes

because I, too, am hoping

there is something there.

.

Strange things happen when we talk.

A war, say, somewhere far away,

the suicide of someone who was not

until that moment.

A revolution.

Every time the same

surprise at our inability to express,

the same fear of the loneliness

that words make, the same

cold feet sensation.

“Believe me,” she says,

and I believe her,

and I hand her socks so

society will not see her so exposed.

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