We Are All Casualties of Our Absence

Dublin Core

Description

A poem by Saddiq Dzukogi

Date Available

2023

Subject

Months--Poetry
Poetry

Language

en-US

Type

text

Format

Identifier

Dzukogi_Casualties.jpg
Dzukogi_Casualties.pdf

Is Part Of

Source

Rights

Copyright protected by Saddiq Dzukogi. Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required.

Scripto

Transcription

Note on transcription: This transcription may not reflect the poetic form established by the poet. Please refer to the PDF file of this poem available in the Files section for proper formatting.

We Are All Casualties of Our Absence

when you are diabetic, a little thing as athlete-foot can grow a mouth
that, if allowed, will swallow—first, the toe—then your leg,

and often your whole life—My wife sometimes sings at the kitchen
sink. Somewhere behind me I could feel her grief, sprawled over,

pacing like a thick frame of dark, fashioned after my own body.
I don’t see how anyone could stop a beast like that from consuming me.

But the thing that terrifies me with loud footsteps, live inside of her—
a body absorbing grief like a moose without flinching.

Growing older is but learning to house grief inside our bodies.
We are at the mercy of time’s fury. I burst into tears often hoping

the road gets slippery for what is chasing after me. Under
my breath is a country drowning from the weight of its own

worries. Under my breath I pulled up a chair. A prayer soothes the beast
in my chest—There is guilt, there is me absorbed in

the thought that I’ve booked a flight to America, for myself and my wife,
so all her loved ones could die behind her back.

Files

Dzukogi_Casualties.jpg

Collection

Citation

Saddiq Dzukogi , “We Are All Casualties of Our Absence,” Mississippi State University Libraries, accessed March 2, 2024, https://msstate-exhibits.libraryhost.com/items/show/2269.

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  1. Dzukogi_Casualties.jpg
  2. Dzukogi_Casualties.pdf