From the Archive: The Rumpus Inaugural Poems: Kaveh Akbar






This was originally published at The Rumpus on January 8, 2017.

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Each day from January 7 through January 20, Rumpus Original Poems will feature work in response to the coming presidential inauguration. Today’s poem is from Kaveh Akbar.




a groundwind wishes away
the dandelion

and quarters the citrus

like wind
you come panting and aimless

bringing your own lumber
to warp and termite yourself

when you touch my face
you believe it is perfectable

you say
this is perfectable

when you move
you move like a carousel of flames

see: a row of broken chairs
in the pinerot

see: a petal
pressed between needle and skin

if the whole body were an eye
where would the hearing be

when I dream I dream like an ox
broken plow after broken plow

patience is a virtue
and virtue is easy

I only need to fear
the parts of you I can see


– Kaveh Akbar


Kaveh Akbar is the Founding Editor of Divedapper. His poems appear recently or soon in the New YorkerPoetry, APR, Tin House, PBS NewsHour, and elsewhere. He is the author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James 2017) and the chapbook Portrait of the Alcoholic (Sibling Rivalry). The recipient of a 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Kaveh was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives and teaches in Florida.

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Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →