Honey, I can only save one person,
and I’ll be damned if it’s not me.
I’m tired of poverty,
tired of reeling it out
like a token ethnic child
or a badge that reads,
“Well done, you tried.”
I pack what remains of him
in a flimsy supermarket carrier bag,
it seems so wrong for a large man,
like when they make a genie of people
by putting their ashes
in a perversely small jar,
no wonder no wishes are granted,
no wonder there’s only dust.
I can almost piece a person together,
the hat can be the head,
the scarf the neck I still want to kiss,
the shirt the torso
my draped arm fit so well,
that was the problem,
what was there to do
after such a comfortable fit?
I won’t let my hands run over his body
like someone tearing bear-legged
through a forest,
I won’t stroke against the grain
of a fresh buzz cut
like more tenacious velvet.
We underestimate experience,
not treating it with the gravity of death,
but loss of love is that, is grief,
except that no one dies, fully,
but in pieces,
from the inside out,
like the most terrible disease.
Setareh Ebrahimi is an Iranian-British poet and writer from Brighton living in Faversham, Kent. She has just published her first collection of poetry, In My Arms, from Bad Betty Press. Setareh has been published in numerous anthologies and journals, and obtained her Master’s in English and American Literature from Kent University in 2016. She regularly performs her poetry around Kent and London.