the second shoe
by noor ibn najam
because lychee was an evergreen fruit my baby
sister ate, became sick, then never again. if that’s
true. there never was a too-sweet and expensive
treat, nothing messy about her mouth. there was no
sister, no childish knots no sister in the room. on
the floor was my baby. fruit learned to fall open. in
her mouth that same pout though her baby teeth been
fell and i, cloaked in glitter, paid like a
stranger. drilled a hole for this skin
-red thread to needle through. all that’s left of my
sister’s baby teeth is what fell. still hung
around my neck.
noor is an experimental poet. she's received fellowships from Callaloo and The Watering Hole and is a recent resident of the Vermont Studio Center. her poems have been published and anthologized with DIAGRAM, ANMLY, The Academy of American Poets, The Rumpus, Bettering American Poetry, and others. her chapbook, PRAISE TO LESSER GODS OF LOVE, was published by Glass Poetry Press in 2019.