I learned to raise my pain like god
raises lightning, disappearing as soon as it opens the sky
I let it haunt me, as I let most things. Every time I leave
a city I tell myself to become new again:
Joy is my mother holding her American dollar
America falling around her like a voice that has never once prayed
I have decided I no longer care where it is
I came from. I let myself fear death only
to remember my body. I think language is a gun with no bullets in sight, just the blow,
the mouth belonging to nothing but ends. And I know
where this road turns, I will follow it like a fire
on a hill of pale
I am always watching the door for my body, the room defeated
dust wind against the gentle wind, you fly towards me, pull me to the ground and we kiss--
Are we not an extension
of the shoulders on this earth we’ve crashed into?
Who are we if we can’t at least give each other this. At least
the distance between a sentence and the eyes avoiding it— Everything is dark
except for the wound, you can see how lovely
it glows; right there, I am free except for the moment where I chose to forget
you. Like an arrow, you are both a killer and a bird,
I tell myself this before it's over.
Rome Smaoui is a Tunisian poet and writer based in the U.K. Her work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Litbreak Magazine, Sonder Midwest, The Roadrunner Review, and other places. She recieved Gold & Silver Keys for her writing by the Scholastics Art & Writing Awards, and she was recognized by Palette Poetry's 2022 Emerging Poet Prize. In 2021, she was featured in Narrative Magazine’s 30 Under 30 List. She is currently an editor for Nighthawk Literature, and is completing her undergraduate studies in English & Creative Writing at The University of Manchester. When Rome isn't writing, she can be found near the sea reading poems to a society of mermaids.