the specimen's apology

In the specimen’s apology George Abraham writes with a sharp elegance about lineage, about inheritance, about what gets passed down, and what doesn’t. What’s erased. What’s obscured. What’s locked away. I get the sense of Rubik’s Cube-ing, searching for the right sequence of words or images or structures to make sense of absence, and in doing so, he makes a beautiful, furious, and crackling new kind of sense. His writing smacks my feelings right across the face. — Tommy Pico

memory study with specimen in dark universe

in the beginning, there wasthe body. a you, finite enoughto reside, compact, in the confinesof space & time –

                                         but before there wasa you, there was the empty. that resides strongin the body. a longing. a definition – can the bodyexist without the Loneliness it counters

                                         & inhabits –

yes – the Loneliness grew strong withinyou. made a world of you, dark& vast as the beast that guards it;became a copper-lunged thing;a thing that sings without breathing,strips the music from your littlebones; winged beast of metallicclaw & its anthem of shredding wire:all the delicate machinery builtto contain you –but in this reality, you are tame& young. small. hollow-boned, yet shatterproof in allyour body’s oblivious cannot know the way you split galaxieswith a single breath; the universesyour hands can unlock in a single strike –your history, a petty matchbox that igniteswith friction & hands, always the hands;you are oblivious of the scientistsbehind the screens, who claimthey built you; observing the specimenof you – who built a tower in you,the Lonely that makes you retreatinto yourself; who wrote the booksyou could never find yourself in; booksthat claim they saved you & built allthe delicate machinery & wingedbeasts that strip you of flight & sweetentropy;                  wingless child –                                the body is an infinity                                you have yet to unravel –

maqam of moonlight, for the wandering

to be read from right to left, after Marwa Helala ask to -    blood of conjuring a is desire of know i what&     sweat its in humid   listless it was or     me of nation tired- deviance quantum &    stochasticity own its in    lost      : entropycarries it    blood the hence &    design its through thing a name to learned wetype what - is it night of type what on depending    to or -      on preys &carries      air the humid      heavy of   relics  fragile    before    you like    men ruined i’ve ,yescount body my    marked i   catacomb brief a chest    themselves oflose    never beast this lest    erosion refusing   scar it let &    nails brittle withmade he caverns the    forget or ,marrow of    dry sucked    bones of countendless &      unexplored    perimeters its in even yes : flight    refusing skeletons ofplanet             this heart      sweet  reach   beyond stratosphere or  body as- us of both the for    claustrophobic     too is

from memory study, in fragmented reality

in this reality, the story unwrites itself:my lover un-ghosts me after i swallowconfession; the word bisexual unmakesitself at home in me & i do not leavemy house; the clear liquid runs backinto its bottle like a river might; my motheris not yet a mountain: the avalanche sweepsup her body, unlearning & inhaling its anxieties;she’s a good girl, a good southern girl:the future grandchildren of my mother’s sentencesretreat to a hypothetical womb; her blessing, notformed, hangs heavy in the thick air; my queerness& self-loathing unwind, like DNA strands –

*what of the body isn’tan unbecoming –*

i uncork a bottle of liquid galaxies& tonight i am my mother’s child;a boy i find pretty presses his tongueagainst my front teeth & i forgetmyself;                            i later findmy self                            alone beneaththe star                           light & thisis not                               the reality wherethe boy loves himself back, nor is ita story where the boy needn’t hatehimself to be worthy of touch –


tonight i am a thousand miles north& i do not call my mother. i do notsmell the ethanol through her phone-static; i do not hear the same apologyunwinding itself from her breathlike collapsing rosary beads; like allahyerhama whispered at a wake; but i dohear her say i love you, you have to knowi love you. & is that not its own funeralquiet? her hands, kissing the bottle’s rimsubmerging in the absence –


say the sun forgave itself the inevitabledisappearance; say the ocean forgavethe moonlight’s lonesome pull –say the fluid forgave its captor,          history –& even that can be its own shelter;maybe in that reality, i would be,instead, child of Thales: descendentof salt & molecule; everything i touch,spiraling into a galaxy of droplets,           dissolving –

ars poetica with parallel dimensions

i must confess, this softness is often an endlesswell                 i fall into, the way a snake chases itself intoitself. on tamer days

                                                    i blame the fruit for their thick

ripening & not the small jealousies

                                                                                        endangeringthe honeybee; some days i cannot distinguishdesire                  from extinction – every love of mine demands blood-shed of a hunter

                                           ’s lineage; o exile my exile, that i could

unbloody our laced talons

                                                                       & write them into metal

wings; that we could un-cauterize the crimson

                                                                                                          sky & fly

into a sunset spilling blood that is not our own –that i could turn

                                                       2 mirrors in on themselves,unraveling those infinite & countable dimensions:              somewhere, i pluck an apple                                       & a parallel self suffers   the expulsion, itself                                                          ancestry rippling across space, itself             timeless; in this reality, i lose                                       a country,                                 for another Eden                                                  to blossom beneath                                                                                                a more forgiving stratosphere;

i confess, i am more vengeful than my oppressors
deem me; my disposition
                                                                         is a learned burial –
i fang so hard it louds my smile, writes my cyanide
ducts into gentle rain; in truth,
                                                        i wish my oppressors an eternity
of carnage for every country stolen
                                                                     from us & my loved ones
the way infinity plus infinity is just infinity; forever
                                                                                                         fails us
like that; our eternity is the moment between
                                                                                         child’s fist
& soldier’s gun & everything outside of
                                                                                      child's fist
& soldier’s gun ; i know threat
                                                                        is not object but state
(of being); because i love him, he is everyone’s
                                                                                         threat; i bloody
my hands for him, so he must be God
                                                           of somewhere; i know heaven
is a poem i survive
                                                        the end of; i know holy
is waking up
                            with a knotted neck on a red sofa in Philadelphia
crowded with all of my loved ones; i know that
                                                                                               is, itself, a country
                                    even i can have        faith in –