Siham Karami


Movements jerk over the horizon
draped wherever they can find a place:

toadstool, rumpus room, rummage
or foraging for uniform whispers

in a sweep of love trucks pulling in.
Could be almost anywhere, any time,

regimented, soldiered into gears turning
me into a pocketbook, ignoring

the words that make me tick.
Tock-awful words like amortization.

Mortify me, let your hands sweep over me,
over my ramparts, into my death-trap, a mockup

for Unrealized Receivables, slowly spent,
hands down better than a thousand

elliptical trays filled with seconds
just before, just before Takeoff^

Ode to Ancient Astronaut Theorists

We are all ancient.
We are all astronauts.
We are all theorists.

The guy with his hair placed randomly over his head.
Listen: Merlin zapped bluestones into Stonehenge
arranged into the solar system as seen from an airplane.
Children think in tune with the ambient magnetic field.

And the ecstasy comes when we realize it all comes together. The fairies were actual beings telling us. The tooth fairy became corrupt with the introduction of dimes. A blue beam suddenly penetrated the room. Veins in my eyeballs unwittingly communicated with the occupants. Pieces of my clothing were found arranged neatly beside the bed, covered in plant material. The only explanation was coded in knots, lost forever into the dust.

Birds swoop symbolically overhead. Gravity rises slowly, carefully, into the ether. By the time we become aware of the passage of time, only the embers of our campfire remain. Radiation and the faint smell of rotting melons tell us it’s time to go. But where?

All things could be a craft.
Birds for example, or bees.
A craft hovers above the waiting world.
As in, this world or the next. Or the penultimate.
A face discovered on the surface of Enceladus, spewing vapor.
Life spikes everything, down to the last fucking quark.
And to think it all started with fermentation. Itself a craft.
We belong, we all belong to rot.

Sing we of love and idleness. Don’t forget the beer. Ditto Pooh.
Follow the breadcrumbs into the night.
And if you follow that line, every town along it has a name that means “star.”
Kids say the darndest things.
You are all sanpaku.

On Second Hand Thought

Once there were two sides to every window.
Now there are three.
Try looking through your shadow without blinking it away.

Twice there were three dimensions to every box.
The third occupied (or not) by an infamous cat.
Until the fourth hour returned to collect your breakout.

Thrice blindfolded, we blamed our faith in fatherlands.
To unfold, scold the mice like a mother
and open all the doors at once.

Back to square one.
Circle the one closest to your jugular.
Keep your veins intact, eyes on the particulars.
Mortality begins at birth.

Siham Karami’s first full-length collection is To Love the River, from Kelsay Books. Her poems and critical work have appeared in The Rumpus, Right Hand Pointing, The Turnip Truck(s), petrichor, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She obsessively photographs everything, even weeds in gas stations, flowerheads drowning in love bugs, and so on. For further info, see sihamkarami.wordpress.com.
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