A Poem by Safia Jama

Industrial Design & Sunset

This taxi smells like the tiny box of empanadas
warming my lap

Eastward is summer sky, a row of trees
before a row of tombstones

I recall how as a kid, I loved the black hearse best

Once, after I stole my first candy, I saw one make a wide turn
failing to notice the funeral home

I yearned to ride in that glamour reserved for the dead
so much better than the fake wooden wagons
that smelled of dogs and dogs’ cages.

Now a silver ribbon of river runs a barely visible silk
thread—Chrysler drips demure jewels as night declines

I still yearn for the black bustle, promise of whalebone,
silk bows, and men in tailored suits waiting to kiss
my hand

Safia Jama is a Cave Canem graduate fellow, born to a Somali father and an Irish-American mother in Queens, New York. Her manuscript was a semi-finalist in the Pleiades Press Editors Prize for Poetry.

The Poetry Section is edited by Mark Bibbins.

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By silvia

5 years ago

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