Myth of Your Imagined Returning

poems by Nadra Mabrouk

Image by  Justin Groep

Image by Justin Groep



Myth of Your Imagined Returning


I told you to stop dressing as the savior

but here you are again at the side of the road,

thin cotton shriveling after the stinging rains

that foggy morning.

You are the heaviest traveler.

You unfold the cloth from your body

and mockingbird feathers fly out of your worn mouth.

Cats gather around at the ends of your bitten shadow,

the potential of insignificant meat, of licks of marrow.

In one palm, a bloodied wing, the raw syrup

of a small existence in the other settling

between the serrated map of your hand,

threads of cloud hanging from your eyelashes.

What else have you halved in this century?




The Prophecy


Do you remember July last year in the middle

of the field, warmth hailing from the oak tree,

your face shadowed by the ash pirouetting

from the grave ride suspended above us? You said, “God,”

I said,“listen for the elk, the lake, the tongue’s repetitive laps,

how often I have said this would hurt us again.

Here is the gift of joy this millenium: the spear torching

through the yew, berries or glass falling, the bull still whole.

You always knew the cows and horses would never make it,

hooves rusting, tied from the birch branches, thorns

between their square dead teeth. After this love,

what’s left of our bodies but the eel in our stomachs like ice,

the acid reflux, the lack of control?

I told you what we needed,

told you we would never forget.



Nadra Mabrouk

Nadra Mabrouk is currently pursuing her MFA in Poetry at New York University as a Goldwater Fellow. Read more of her work at Tinder Box Poetry.