Noor Shahzad

            There was Iowa, then Texas                           across

                                     the gulf of Mexico, hoisting into Illinois.                  There was

Nebraska and Minnesota, melted by noon.                And there's always Italy.        Then

there was         you, a slender burst                 of splendor quieting    my heart into

            a hydrangea.    Quieting the quicker night      into a slow Miles Davis,

into a light American Spirit,                into lines pirouetting

                                                                                   an Olson poem. Quieting birds into

spokes of a bicycle,     into sips of warm        water, into shoulders softening,

            into liberated limbs,    into an unsheeted bed.                        Outside, the unheavy hum

of passersby presses                flower-packed front porches—             white pansies

                        and daylilies hemming            our hemispheres with honeyed

            halcyon.           Down dim lit streets,              I watch you turn

                        dainty with the dark.

Noor Shahzad is currently an MFA candidate at University of Massachusetts Boston, where she is studying poetry. Between classes and writing, she works as a teaching assistant at 826 Boston, a non-profit youth literacy program for underserved students.

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