empathy

Selina Mahmood


a.               

there were memories here, once,       carved
into the rotting wood,  softened into the walls. 

              sun swum eyes and a cherry,    
not your fake red plastic ones, 
but the black onyx ones from my land, 
resting upon my manubrium easing (the) –
                                  burn, crack, pour,
the three cycles my life constantly spurns to, 
until empty enough to meet another: empathy. 
before then i’ll just extend my pot of hurt
                      to yours and call it so.
before then i’ll split into two  (there’s a difference
            between being invisible and nothing—
            this is just another spurned nothing, 
   cracked open—
                                           [a rib or two, 
                                           a skull or two]
leaving space for you,)    
slammed together only with LSD mirrored eyes: 
          this is me, this is i, this is we.

b.      

i am Vitruvian, but not a man. i’m of the mind
of another v, varnishing the world in turbulence[i].
nehin, you will not through godlessness erase
him, or me.   more God in a single blue brushed
           stroke —             than your entire life
pays homage to. oh, but that you, and i, could
                          see! see

c.      

the way words sound, do you devour them too, 
sublingually soaking gutless and undigested
             — straight to the heart? 

           sun swum eyes and a cherry,
                        pair ripped into: a, ri  p. 
for a, be a self first, please. see as leaves folded
within,              cradling the doubled single. 
see until sight is one and the single doubled.
               see until the doubled re-singles.

          a was never single, she just pretends, 
just so you can go through to find her stem: 
                        paired, always reflected in
fours quivering into threes quivering
into twos quivering into one…

                                         into one,     not single. 


Selina A. Mahmood recently graduated from medical school. She has poems published in The Ghazal Page, One Sentence Poems, Blood and Thunder - Musings on the Art of Medicine, Right Hand Pointing, The Conglomerate, and forthcoming publications in SurVision and Apofenie. She has a published collection of poems and has also blogged book reviews on HuffPost https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/selina-mahmood