Poetry: Sustenance

How do you sustain your day?

He plans to fill himself with water and prayer
each dawn, but he sleeps in
missing
fajr, when a suicide bomber, strikes the mosque across the ocean.
The train is impatient for the spiritual
so he packs his iStuff instead, swiping away the push notification
azaan, unheard, he walks into the hallway of this temporary earth.

She begins with coffee, black, please
and finishes it in sips of three.
First – to forget the night that has past, sprawled on her back, under cruelty
sip two – a tear slips to cool the scalding roast
the final chug – the paper cup she cannot crush because it is the essence of the cycle.
This very cup bought from the coins the previous one filled
empties quickly, self-inflicting singe.

They scramble early
fat free milk is more expensive, scratching their itchy eyes,
they douse their Fruit Loops with floating growth hormones.
They didn’t finish reading
but their bodies carve enough letters to publish a lifetime
of sorry, if they get called on in class to discuss
they plan to lie, again.

For me, each alarm rings in a new poem
I choose the night before so lethargy does not succeed
sustaining breakfast with an apparent literary genius
thinking the written text will suffice

. . .  every passenger is at unease by his beard which I admire
my foot almost knocks over her cardboard invitation
they jay walk, and I run behind, protected by small humans in traffic ahead . . .

I go hungry
naive in a facade of selfishly published poetry
because I know the sufferers of the real world
are the ones who breathe the truest mixtures of words
waiting for the right ones
Who will listen?

-S.K.

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