The Poem You’ve Been Waiting For

By Tarfia Faizullah

I saw then the white-eyed man
leaning in to see if I was ready
yet to go where he has been waiting
to take me. I saw then the gnawing
sounds my faith has been making
and I saw too that the shape it sings
in is the color of cast-iron mountains
I drove so long to find I forgot I had
been looking for them, for the you
I once knew and the you that was born
waiting for me to find you. I have been
twisting and turning across these lifetimes
where forgetting me is what you do
so you don’t have to look at yourself. I saw
that I would drown in a creek carved out
of a field our incarnations forged the first path
through to those mountains. I invited you to stroll
with me there again for the first time, to pause
and sprawl in the grass while I read to you
the poem you hadn’t known you’d been waiting
to hear. I read until you finally slept
and all your jagged syntaxes softened into rest.
You’re always driving so far from me towards
the me I worry, without you, is eternity. I lay there,
awake, keeping watch while you snored.
I waited, as I always seem to, for you
to wake up and come back to me.

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