Love Poem with Parenthetical; Shift; & What It Means to Forget


Love Poem with Parenthetical 



Shadow branches rise through our bedroom window     
It’s garbage day     Tuesday     We hear squeaky wheels 

a blue jay lifting from the sky      the small sighs of waking
We’ve unplugged the clock      and can’t hear it over the sounds of each other

Finally      we are together with no obstacle      
and enough time to forget about time     to extend 

into a new unworried day      When we brush our teeth      in the mirror
we find freckled portals      the uncanny match of our skin 

then take ourselves out to the curb where we smoke      and talk
about all that’s been taken from us      



(War made our homeland into a place you cannot return to      for fear
of being made to kill      all men machines now      If you went back     my love

Assad’s army would snatch you up      healthy       strong       gunmetal
A different kind of war broke up my family      strewn like ashes 

of a stopped lineage     We jump at red tail lights growing in the window 
like fires      I drop a dish      and you still hear the bombs dropping closer

to your home than the night before      We’ve taken      stolen opportunity 
from our parents      didn’t recognize      didn’t give      We’re filled 

with a language we don’t know how to speak       and cannot teach
our children)



We find new places to tuck into      here is our small apartment
with all the light      the moths      the lavender to push them away       Here 

is a love so large we can reach inside it      and pull out branches of blooms
Here is the trash taken away       and the loneliness of morning as it opens to day

when the walls don’t hold us      and we leave      do what we must 
work another day      just to bring home a bounty to each other

our tiny nested landscape      to turn out the light       and sleep again      
dreaming of light      and limbs 


Dana Alsamsam, a first-generation Syrian-American from Chicago, is currently an arts fundraiser in Boston. A Lambda Literary fellow, she received her MFA in poetry from Emerson College, where she was the editor-in-chief of Redivider and senior editorial assistant at Ploughshares. Her poems are published or forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, North American Review, Poetry Daily, BOOTH, The Journal, The Common, and others.