Asiya Wadud

Be the blueprint

When I was 8 I wanted to be an architecture, to imagine my gaping life at 38. To be able to deign the window, the leaden doors the front the side the rear we would use that year, the scaffolding of the garret in the window’s slope and narrowness. It was a state that we should claim. The honing state, I reckon a state of being. I defined I named I subsumed I assumed the best and most convincing state was through the storm door. When I was 8 I wanted to be an architecture. I was unsmiling feral I cried easily was missing too many teeth. Still wanted to breastfeed — the blasphemy. I badly chiseled I chipped I collaged I clawed I cleaved I hammered I honed a state of being. Though now from God’s vantage that was not altogether for naught — to wish a future so unforgiving, Brutalist, Soviet, ideology laid bare in the building, I was made to feel so small. Made to feel so justly small while built very honed. I would be a body with rooms I could easily defenestrate I could readily be. The picture windows witness a low slung sun. I would deign the window, the leaden doors the front the side the rear, the structure of the garret is in the window’s neatness. I could push back the curtain it’s didactic. It’s noted in the blueprint. The profile of our double helix. To be an architecture I mean I could I mean I didn’t know then that I meant I would be a house that I myself could inhabit.

after Hilda Hilst
after LOOK

A dog is content in centigrade
A cerulean retriever gathers a bouquet

The eyelets plead: don’t you know me
How can I be?
I have myriad ways to see

The neat straight ruffian
The guesswork
The exactness which
Takes courage

Always in the choosing
Searing in the distance
What could we name it:
Hilda
Josef
Guernica
All places festooned

The shrift unfolds
In all its whiteness
Dog eyes or you could say loosely
Tenderness prefers knowledge

Tender button I mean
The damp nose
It takes a certain courage
To fillet the softest part
To glean the glowing parts

The eyelets plead: look. you know me
you know me

chronology in prostrate/ daybook

—after Stacy Szymaszek

3:13 am          awake from a new fever dream
6:11 am          peabrain polyphonic
6:42 am          my knowledge of Swahili, diminished
6:51 am          the August water in the Baltic, on first sight silhouetted
6:52 am          subsequently it was everything
7:11 am          to avoid my polished shoe in human waste
7:11 am          and with focused pleasure, remove animal waste with a twig
8:18 am          the decay of other autumns

timelessly, the October of my mind [without reason]

8:19 am          and the indelible
9:00 am each in its given moment
each in a faultless aura
fecund
to look head on at the sun
we all crave a searing moment
though damned if we try and sequester a moment
9:00 am          elongated
9:00 am          held
9:00 am          staid
9:01 am          pastoral
3:13 am          wished not for a full silo
6:11 am          polyphony of the silence
6:11 am          submerged and braying
6:42 am          the exactitude was pretty good
6:51 am          the August water at the Baltic, on first sight silhouetted
6:52 am          subsequently it was everything

speak + tendrils

this is what
a luster
this is what a lament
this is what
a lamentation
this is what
lacrima
this is what
sinister or you can say darkness
this is what
this is what
an aspect
a levee
a full stone
a turned stone
a dapple load
this is what
a refulgence
this is what a lament
this is what
to incant
this is what
a
sigh
into some void
a full capillary
the shame
a fulcrum
the anvil
the light
the unconvinced
the ill-conceived
note the iron-rich
note the finish
this is a levee
I’m burdened
this is a border
that we grip
this is a pine coffin
we must bury
but first
we empty
we empty
we empty
this is what
when the night
the night
same
sigh this is the night
sky with the image redacted
when the image is doubled
with the image doubled down
before we were named
though we were named long ago
this is what
this is what
this sigh
this is the
weighted blackness
this is a beat back
a canter
a
we lactate
this is a what
us simulating birth
this is a what
us memorializing the stillborn
this is a what
when we know what’s not done
this is what
a light
this is what a lament
this is what
the emptied
this is what
lacrima
this is what
sinister
this is what
this is what
a light
a levee
a full stone
for tight space
a dapple load
this is what
a groundswell
this is what
the loon
this is what
this is what
a gesticulation, little hand
a coming blade, my tenderly
a tempting bottom, the fine clarity
a crispness
the elation
a whisperer
a whisperer
a whisperer

my decent one

my decent one, this, this what we have in front of us. this complete orb, this leaden strobe, this searing, direct heat. this the weighted gold. the infinite. this glorious gaped valley? the one that yawns on both ends and reaches? the one that reconciles a lineage from a shrift. the one that seeks the mountain from this depth. this. this amalgamated steel. this generative precious stone. the Reisefeber. this what we have appraised while in deep mourning. this is, this is heavy. oh, this is heavy. this is. oh will this bear the weight. oh this is as delicate as a new quail cupped in my light. oh, this, my burden, but i chose to name it light. oh this is the century that holds my clavicle, oh this the forethought that keeps the oar oaring oh this is a green valley that also yearns for a crescent. oh this is this my god oh i ache for a gospel. my chapel. oh this is how we were yoked. something holy and contained. oh i am a quake on a tender fault line — oh i am a quake on a tender fault line. i wish to lap and i wish to go on but i hold steady and i wait for my decent one. oh this is what we have in front of us, the reaching keeps us from never nursing doom. and i love my country while i yearn for new ones, ones that hold us and name us and tell us our good worth and ones that hold us to the light on any given morning. ones that remember the magnolia from which my grandfather swung and ones that atone. ones that keep us and nurse us and know what is holy and holy. and my country is a flag from which the good earth is drawn and the language is one that all fawns duly learn. and the stone is precious as long as it turns and the earth is the ground from which the good people are wrought. oh, and the people — oh, they are wrought, merely from my wishing. they are brought through in yawning vessels but my god the gospel crests in time. my god, the tender faultlines beckon a sliver of light which we reflect back with our last slat to imprint — which we hold steady long enough to imprint.

Asiya Wadud writes about borders, limits, and the variegated truth. She teaches third grade in the daytime and English to new immigrants and refugees in the evening. Her first book, crosslight for youngbird, is forthcoming from Nightboat Books in Fall 2018. Sizable Calamities, her next project, is forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse in 2019. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she loves animals.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the editor of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom, winner of the 2017 Washington Prize, Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in such places as The Awl, Berkeley Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cimarron, Gargoyle, The Journal, New American Writing, The New Orleans Review, Prelude, Raritan, Seneca Review, So to Speak, Verse, Verse Daily, and VOLT.

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