National Poetry Month Day 29: Maryam Ivette Parhizkar





bayou time


aspirations round the cul-de-sac where
having wanted a quiet life families make peace 
with brutal settlements becoming roman
that is texan  

below the footbridge a childhood precedent 
revives itself among the turtles swallowing mosquitoes 
drops of their peculiar blood  doing nothing

the deliberation of water having been missed 
in spite of possession of the qualities of man
a propensity toward stopgap for the floodtides

bayou time is slow time
not empty of watershed threat  slow 
like summer on the precipice of hurricane season  

so much time thought of being looked at 
having forgotten to look 

delibrate as the bathstreams swallowed by housepipes 
profane residues of the civilized bodyhair polymer beadlets  
sweat tinged foam slow slow to gather at their mouths



empire holds fast to the ones who love you 
so they try to love you in empire 

affection nested in work week intervals 
groceries  discount retail  drug prescriptions

discards in the bayou rustblood carmine 
gathered upon the body of a shopping cart

who named this mundane grief excess
who named this sensation void

outside the economy I uproot the wilds 
chew for the pungency of a small pleasure



after the flood the city keeps open its reservoir wounds 

an island of trees runs through its vein
engulfed with the chatter of grackles

their chatter ends the governance reigning upon the structure
the assigned names premised on its sediment

herons swell in presence among the abandonments of production 

they stay in the branches  loom with elegance
iridescent airs of being unmastered



Author photo courtesy of author

Maryam Ivette Parhizkar grew up in a Salvadoran and Iranian family in southwest Houston. Her chapbooks include Somewhere Else the Sun is Falling into Someone's Eyes (Belladonna* Collaborative, 2019), As for the future (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2016), and Pull: a ballad (The Operating System, 2014). A graduate student worker and Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, she is a CantoMundo fellow and member of the U.S. Central American collective Tierra Narrative. More from this author →