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During the month of March, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop together with more than 20 other literary organizations that make up the Poetry Coalition is publishing work around the theme “Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration.” Look out for more this month by following the hashtag #WeComeFromEverything.



I shouldn’t write a poem about it. There’s no use.
I want to feel healthy so I walk to the kitchen with
one foot in front of the other and crack two eggs on the counter.
I can’t go to the gym today though, this time the explosion was
too close to home. The fact of bodies is tangible.
The obliterated parking lot flashed on the local news—
if I squint it looks like a construction site.
I’ll go out today but I won’t tell anyone about the bomb.
It’s none of their business and anyway, I can’t always be
a symbol of a wreckage having occurred elsewhere.
I sit in the park instead and watch people relax.
A man kisses a pigeon and another kisses a dog and
both times I look away to gather the spikes of trees into a
dripping faucet. The water fountains open their empty
oyster shells and today the sun is made in the image of a sliding
trolley—partly because light is slipping away and partly due to
the nostalgia of railroad tracks. I run into a poet who insists on using
material from real life to write a poem and for the first time in my life
I don’t have an opinion. I believe the trick to achieving perfect symmetry
is to lean backwards into your soul and fake a ripening. Look grateful,
debauchery is a fact the same way a watershed actualizes a river.
Your experience is only the accumulation of tongues in your mouth.
You find a street and walk on it. You don’t call your mother.


Momina Mela is a Pakistani poet from Lahore. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, POETRY, The Blueshift Journal, horseless review amongst others. She is an MFA candidate at NYU and currently lives in Brooklyn.

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