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.



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.