Alycia Pirmohamed: two poems

Another way to split water

Alycia Pirmohamed – Another way to split water

There Are Fourteen Thousand Kilometres Between Edmonton and Dar es Salaam

I promised     I would not pine     birch     mangrove
any longer.

We drink masala chai     masala chai is different in every city we visit.
This one     milky moon.

It is the name of things         it is the naming of things
which makes all the difference.

When the waxwing first
burgeoned its tough little head into the world      a mother

counted her ribs           her uncanny currency
and decided the bird into being.

I pull you aside under the pouring moon      its quill of light
only hours after    we witnessed a falling tree.

To yearn    a missing piece is my inheritance    one as urgent
as the pot that boiled over

its skin of burned milk.      I know this pilgrimage was positioned
as an answering    a fourteen thousand kilometer

journey meant to wind the bloodline right into my heart.
But forgive me     because I do not know how      to name [          ]

the tree that snapped          into saltwater
and left us staring at the glint         of this upended noun.



Alycia Pirmohamed is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of the chapbook Faces that Fled the Wind, and a winner of the 92Y Discovery Poetry Contest. Her poetry has recently appeared, or is forthcoming in, The Paris Review Daily, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Adroit Journal, The London Magazine, Gutter Magazine, and others. Alycia received an MFA from the University of Oregon. She can be found on Twitter @a_pirmohamed.

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