qtine thoughts (w/ a line from Psych lol)

Jess Rizkallah

the past is a jinn / sitting on your chest dreams aren’t warnings they are forecasts

the weather will always get inside your body where the convergence of meaning strikes

so learn to swim / the other woman is you with different teeth / always a rose on the table

for blessings / and two for love / which is a container for a shared vocabulary of symbols

stand in front of your mirror / what tarot card are you today / consider your posture / are you held up

by a stem / a wick / a sword in stone waiting for the hand of god / ya god / ya allah / god

and allah are the same articulations of wind realized at different registers / you don’t have to

be praying all the time / often, you are heard the first time / a gift to be read / you were always

a watcher but its never too late to be a doer to plunge a trowel into dirt and tuck a seed

behind the unknown’s ear / the sun is a sound the heart is a radio / when you dream of your love singing

and a thermometer when you begin to forget the shape of their ears

an owl is just the sky whistling thru its nose while sleeping

when the color blue rests its eyes and it’s just night / not sadness

there’s a million reasons a horse loses none of them have to do with crystals

and moonbeams but partly to do with blood the tools are important but ultimately do you know

how to be your own light dappled through milkweed

butterflies and moths are two sides of the same shaft of light / their shadows

on the wall a projection two sides of the same hope

you are protected

can anybody see the future? what’s over there why is there always a president

why is everyone a cop or a test

if you drop a question mark you’re supposed to flip it

heads up for the next person the bulb from which a penny grows

dead ends are doors with no handles even in hell you keep digging

fate is just pheromones that’s a cool sentence, but do I believe it

that’s a nice question but can it carry my weight

when a sickness doesn’t kill you but still takes pounds of flesh there is a separate heaven for your melted parts

in the clouds spread above us our bodies are part of the water cycle

water has memory our bodies repeat like calendars

the clouds are archives fact-check me, baby / then strike the record

the world’s a needle / like my finger when i traced the lines in his palm / and then

a blackbird flew out of his mouth / in the dead of night, a song / graceful, mine. that’s just one example

i don’t have another

Jess Rizkallah is a Lebanese-American writer and illustrator. Her full-length collection The Magic My Body Becomes was a finalist for The Believer Poetry Award and won the 2017 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize as awarded by the Radius of Arab-American Writers and University of Arkansas Press. Find her at jessrizkallah.com.