that there is tenderness
by Janan Alexandra
in stroking the now empty
eye sockets shouldn’t surprise me,
but somehow still does.
My finger catches against the thin
rim of shell, so delicate I could crush it
& who would know?
I carry the crab’s small carcass home
in a plastic sandwich bag. It is no bigger than a kneecap,
discloses death as the one good promise of living.
& who among us has not felt the urge to back
away from life ? Sometimes the light is just light. It flashes
through the cracked corpse sitting on the windowsill.
How many times have you wished to stay
asleep in the water, your mind a liquid night where
everything happens at once?
I think dreams must be nearly true. Close to truth.
Almost. The word tells us to remember the body: right here.
To shape the dough & let it rise, touch its skin in the dark.
To walk very close along the edge & feel
between each world. To go out into the cold
& almost not come back.
Janan Alexandra is a Lebanese-American poet and MFA candidate at Indiana University. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Martha's Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. Janan has taught Creative Writing to youth for several years and currently works as Associate Director of the IU Writers' Conference. You can find her work in Ploughshares, The Rumpus, The Adroit Journal, Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab-America, Cosmonauts Avenue, and elsewhere.