Let’s say this is the story of a boy you loved so much, you did everything in your power to cast him almost. Consider the wane & cyclic, the phylogenetic folding. Let’s say he loves you in a way you can only imagine as evolution of & here, the mythos of he & you misalign – sky re-charted, trajectories convexed. You tell him the myth where the boy gazes into water & falls feverishly in love with himself. You tell him you fear becoming both the boy & the river’s reflection & when the radio sings I don’t want to be alone tonight, you cast his eyelashes into Atlas’ curling throttle & you don’t want to be. A lone tonight, when you do not want, you remember the spellbound book which said, by birth, the stars have crafted you into their mirror, warning that all your most beloved may come to resent their reflections in you. You listen. & in their grand, incomprehensible silence, you find there is a you & there is a you beyond that you, somewhere language is less a question of possession. In daylight, you cannot look him in the eye without fear of knowing. Though you suspect, somewhere that is not here, there is a part of him that Sees you back, so let’s call him epicenter of everything you are trying to reach. It isn’t loneliness, exactly – you’ve had so many loves of so many lives & just beyond all of them is the love you know you deserve. In this way, you grow wary of every mythos wherein love begins with a self. You fear you love your self dangerously. Didn’t they tell you, the boy bent over the riverbed was less a matter of obsession than physic? That, to call any water, still & crystal, is less a lie than a simplification. Turbulent, he is you & he is not you. He loves you & he loves you knotted. You’re plucking eyelashes like flower petals, salt-tossing &, dizzy, you call him by all of his names & you & your & yours dance into tenseless & if the river is to ravine, let it be a mirror – there & there & therethere, at the center of fissure, fissure, not again, you will make out a reflection, knowing it isn’t entirely your own.



George Abraham (they/he) is a Palestinian American poet, writer, and engineer who was born and raised on unceded Timucuan lands (Jacksonville, FL). Their debut poetry collection Birthright (Button Poetry) won the Arab American Book Award and the Big Other Book Award, and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He is a board member for the Radius of Arab American Writers, and recipient of fellowships from The Arab American National Museum, The Boston Foundation, and Kundiman. His poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Nation, The Paris Review, The American Poetry Review, Mizna, and elsewhere. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard University, they are currently a Litowitz MFA+MA Candidate in poetry at Northwestern University.

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