An odd delight
in your certain words
your tongue tied in tenor I fail to understand
amusement
branching out of childhoods pickled
in wombs of foreign lore
my rikshaws and scarf and halva
your democracy and tees and hot dogs
a gulf of sweet nostalgia
and no route to let you in

a single car key
toothed in ignition to start an adventure
over dusty mountains that smell of warm mud
when rain's fingers begin to melt
in the dry waistline of soil ready to burst

a caper of drops
marks your wrists that I always feel
I have seen before in the gloss of magazines
you undiscovered aristocratic ease you
have you known me at all?
the exquisite ways in which I
was born to adore
like only a poet can
nuanced adoration at its finest
baby
still
does not mean love

maybe you have known it long
the ecstasy of discovering cultures crossed
hands absconding to unconquered skin
or maybe you have simply paraphrased
all this complexity I take pride in
in that bite of your mind
that likes to feast on objects
exotic.

About the Poet

Asnia Asim moved to the United States from Pakistan a few years ago. She uses poetry to plow through and understand the cultural and personal dissonance that sprouts from geographical displacement. Her work has appeared in print and online journals including Timber Creek Review, Desi Writers Lounge, and Maya Tree.