Mai Yamani

April is the cruellest month, which is why we post poetry

I am awake because I did something dreadful to my back, possibly involving pinched nerves, by falling asleep on the couch during the Daily Show on Wednesday and I spent the whole day at work agonizing because I was paranoid about coming off as a malingering flake and then promptly collapsed at home in a haze of exhaustion and painkillers, which did not have the decency to keep me asleep at least until early morning instead of the middle of the night.

Here is a poem that I thought I had misplaced, until I realized that I had bookmarked it in Safari.

The Promise


With the second drink, at the restaurant,
holding hands on the bare table,
we are at it again, renewing our promise
to kill each other. You are drinking gin,
night-blue juniper berry
dissolving in your body, I am drinking Fumé,
chewing its fragrant dirt and smoke, we are
taking on earth, we are part soil already,
and wherever we are, we are also in our
bed, fitted, naked, closely
along each other, half passed out,
after love, drifting back
and forth across the border of consciousness,
our bodies buoyant, clasped. Your hand
tightens on the table. You’re a little afraid
I’ll chicken out. What you do not want
is to lie in a hospital bed for a year
after a stroke, without being able
to think or die, you do not want
to be tied to a chair like your prim grandmother,
cursing. The room is dim around us,
ivory globes, pink curtains
bound at the waist—and outside,
a weightless, luminous, lifted-up
summer twilight. I tell you you do not
know me if you think I will not
kill you. Think how we have floated together
eye to eye, nipple to nipple,
sex to sex, the halves of a creature
drifting up to the lip of matter
and over it—you know me from the bright, blood-
flecked delivery room, if a lion
had you in its jaws I would attack it, if the ropes
binding your soul are your own wrists, I will cut them.

  • Current Mood: awake awake
Hoping to have my say
Hey - I am definitely delighted to discover this. cool job!