Jasmine Khaliq

Postcard Before I Forgive You

I was in real need.

I was eating raspberries

and nothing else.

I wrote love poems

for everyone but you.

you weren’t yourself,

or you were; I hated

the careless way you drove.

shouldn’t real penance take

forever? I stayed all day

alone in any one line,

for hours walking past hydrangeas,

walking past hydrangeas.


in february snow

a gash of noise

like euripides’

women translated

into vowels long

and low threatens

to open wide my body

feral and foregone

a slow spilling

the taylor glacier

leaky mouth

poured wine

last night in russia

black snow fell

in pieces soft

and beautiful

I nearly believed

clouds meant more

and heaven was

and the crows all there

in pieces shed

their bodies


unspeakably so

sunrise through mount vernon, wa.

after beauty I am

entranced by the soft

dislodging of eyes:

blurs of cows

necks sloping


colors thinner

than water

and running

this is where

I most miss

the dead:

a highway pasture

bisected body

and always

I am on the other side

Jasmine Khaliq is a Pakistani Mexican poet born and raised in Northern California. She holds an MFA from UW Seattle, where she also taught. She was a finalist in the 2019 Wabash Poetry Prize. Her recent work is found or forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, The Pinch, Phoebe, and Raleigh Review.

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