portion of the artwork for Imran Boe Khan's poetry

For the version of us we could live with
Imran Boe Khan

I’d clear out what couldn’t be cleansed,
bleach-whiten what’s left.
For every mark you made on another man’s neck,
I’d singe the tracks, forget how your open eyes
loosened that soil’s mouth.
We’d know ourselves a little less each day,
thread new scenes through every synapse,
borrow the echoes of lovers
flirting and digging up roots,
voices tuned for the catch,
vessels captured just for us.
We’d pull old film through our ears,
let the sun kill the pictures,
live by what we inherit,
desire and loyalty condensed on a single reel.
We must choke down love songs for sustenance,
bite the years till they pour. Honey, we’re a mess
and we deserve to love
without the ugliness. Can’t we burn a perfect slant of light
into our churning scrapyard sky?
Because we’ve been there through it all:
drugs, gambling, night-long affairs.
Let’s scaffold over the shattering.
What more could you ask for?

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 54 | Fall/Winter 2019