Of this room remember heat. A fight with my father and
glass evil eyes. The television sparking like a glamorous fish.

We’ve turned off every lightbulb, fan each other with foreign
magazines. I take photographs of stray dogs. In the car,

the Turkish driver listens to horse races on the radio.
I won, he tells us. I dress like a pillar. I want to burn the verbs

I mispronounce to the Egyptian waiter. My uterus bleeds from Athens
to Istanbul and the moon is a spider tracking its white mud

across the sky. Orange blossoms open like pepper in the courtyard.
Everywhere, blue rooftops. Antibiotics for my infected jaw.

We take Rome with us to Rome. At the passport control line,
you tell me to let you speak. You tell them I’m with you.

More Poems by Hala Alyan