The day my favourite author died,
I wrote a poem about hands and
learned to love my own.

I swallowed morning like a pill
and washed it down with an afternoon
that ached of leaving.

I closed my eyes
between every conversation
and thought only of the oh damn,
the hell yeah of your spine.

I let the wind from an open window
knife me where only you had ever breathed.
I let every bus stop be home
and every cactus be a plant
worth holding to my bare chest.

The day my favourite author died,
I wondered if his hand had hung
off the side of the bed with opening lines
still curled in his wrinkles.

The day he died, my bravery
was born with a sputter and a cough
and an “I’m here now, please
use me.” And somewhere, you
yawned your way into someone else’s dreams.

Discovering Ice | Ramna Safeer
"… poetry and every other art was and is and forever will be strictly[…]and distinctly a question of individuality….poetry is being, not doing….if poetry is your goal, you’ve got to forget all about punishments and all about rewards and all about selfstyled obligations and duties and responsibilities…..Nobody else can be alive for you; nor can you be alive for anybody else."
E.E. Cummings, from i: Six Nonlectures (via litafficionado)

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond by e.e. cummings

Most nights, this body is everything your mother
warns you about when you are young enough to
cry over skinned knees. This body is the
leaking line of dark from the bottom of your
midnight closet door.

Most nights, my hips carry no rhinestones or sequins,
only the impressions of rumpled sheets.
The tips of my fingers tap no piano keys or
lover’s backs, only the paled damp of day-old
band-aid papercut typing an
“I miss you and sometimes it hurts.”

Most nights, I know better than to hold your
poems to my skin. I know better than to realize that
your idea of pain doesn’t fit with what leaks from this body.
Most nights, I know better.

Most nights, 3 AM isn’t romantic or heartbreaking.
It’s waiting for a morning that wraps its fist
around my lungs, with a full backpack and the world
hanging from my shoulders.

Most nights are not pretty
or worth line breaks or metaphor
or ready for tomorrow. Most nights, my body
is not waiting for someone else’s,
my gums do not pulse cold and icy for
someone else’s neck.

Most nights,
my body wants only
to know itself again. My gums
pulse cold and icy so maybe, my body
can learn to allow itself warmth

Not Pretty Like You Say | Ramna Safeer


"Her and Lost In Translation are connected to each other. They’re very much on the same wavelength. They explore a lot of the same ideas. This all makes sense since Spike Jonze and Sofia Coppola were married from 1999 to 2003 and had been together for many years before that. Sofia Coppola had already made her big personal statement in regards to love and marriage right when the couple was on the verge of divorce; Her would be Spike Jonze’s answer to those feelings. What makes it even more poignant is that Her never feels resentful or petty. It feels more like a legitimate apology. It’s an acknowledgement that, in the end, some people aren’t meant to be with each other in the long run. Some people do grow apart. Lost in Translation is about a couple on the verge of growing apart, Her is about finally letting go of the person you’ve grown apart with and moving on.”


Tehran, Iran. June 2001. Inside a fashionable coffee house. Photo by Abbas / Magnum

"Here. Here’s simple and happy. That’s what I meant to give you."

Beginners (2010)
Mike Mills


We had entire roofs built under our feet,
kingdoms under our lapels, empires
in the smalls of our growing backs.

I am trying my hardest to call this a poem
but I miss you. My throat smoked its first
cigarette this morning.

No tobacco, just silence. Both of them
line your lungs in black and forget to
keep you afloat.

I’ve dirtied the margins of us
too permanently to ask for another paper.
But I have entire journals to spare.
We don’t have to finish, just
start again sometime.

My 3 AM cieling calls this thing
lonely. My mama calls it bitter.
I don’t know what you would call it.
I don’t know if you would call at all.

We were ready for worlds larger
than our backyards. We were tailors
of hems wider than us, hems that waited for us
to swell into them.

I am trying my hardest to call this a poem
but I miss you. Nothing has shifted
since the first line, so these hems I am left with
need tightening.

Maybe these roofs need
disbanding, these kingdoms need fire.
Maybe I made more mistakes than
I made promises
and maybe this poem only ends when
my 3 AM cieling calls to tell me
you’re back.

This Poem Needs Ending | Ramna Safeer

you, with the winged eyeliner for a mother
and scent of a father in the walls that keep you.

you, with the walk that defines, walk that holds
and holds tightly, the walk that demands.

today smelled to you of rust in the rain,
of decorated pain, flowery language in a
eulogy. today was not your best, and this poem
is your “oh.” this poem is your “okay, and
you survived.”

this poem is your “i am proud.”
you did everything right today,
left none of you behind.

you turned at the corners that needed you,
and lost was needed losing, misplaced
only what needed gone.

you are no translation, no transition,
you are no in-between or half-cooked.
right may not have been today
but you did everything right.

Here’s Proof | Ramna Safeer
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