Inside the animal of my grief,
a timeline. Today is year thirteen
and I am trying to push into
forever. A territory
where I no longer count
the days of my alienhood.
Imagine love when the state
recognizes your devotion
as nothing. I am my expiration date,
the foreboding hour when I am no longer
useful as my visa needs me to be. I am always the question of marriage, in the abstract, shivering in shame – anticipating the interview where I am asked to sketch out the wedding financials and the tragedy of what I told my father. I know my new country wants the green story, easy to sell, breezy and beautiful. But I am not American, I am ineligible for entry into my partner’s privilege. Their citizenship cuts at my teeth. A reminder: You can live in a country and not live. What I wish would be enough: adding peanut butter to the grocery lists of my own volition, surviving the erasure of my mother tongue, crossing the ocean each time my lover touches me like a prayer. In my dreams, I call this place home.