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.

Otchayanie


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


beautiful

unspeakably so

sunrise through mount vernon, wa.


after beauty I am

entranced by the soft

dislodging of eyes:


blurs of cows

necks sloping

lapped-rainbows


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.