Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

i entered into this contract

with a biological agent, not 

knowing how long we would 

be wed, certain that the divorce

rates in America were a good

indicator of our tryst, most of 

myself already given up to 

this country of thieves and 

missionaries (is/there/a/difference),

why won’t this just give up too? 

i wait, i lose count, i remember,

he drives me there this time 

because last time i called on God

instead to accompany me, a sightless

unseen God that no phlebotomist 

can avoid when taking from the vein,

when will my thoughts grow tired?

isn’t exhaustion what i was promised?

he doesn’t have an answer, i knew 

he wouldn’t, he tries to make a song

out of the whirring we both know, that 

lover’s incantation that started it all, 

most Top 40 songs in this country fit 

like a sterile glove, better than i fit 

              in this room 

              with all of my excess

              spilling out of the port,

he will be pushed back from the force

of my grief, i have seen it before, 

no cake today (the baker is on a different 

cycle, but sometimes we overlap),

i imagine the peanut butter and jelly pie 

on my lap instead of blood results,

why do they weigh the same?

the song still bops, whirring/stirring/rotting

the rest of my body (but it’s for my own good)

(it’s for the parts of me that think too much,

act too much, feel too much, fight too much)

i lost track of the original papers, but one day,

when i find them, i will dream of a cure, pluck

at the vague language and accuse, accuse, accuse

no one but myself for letting this body 

wait for God while I was there all along.

Pınar Yaşar is a Boston-based Kurdish diaspora writer, poet, and instructor. She holds a degree in English Literature from Tufts University and, while there, was published in the Tufts Cannon Literary Magazine. Her work also appears in La Bruja Roja, Cyberhex Press, and Haverthron Press.

"Most of my poems, like me, are political. I write about the Kurdish diaspora. This puts my safety at risk, in ways a simple google search can illuminate should you task yourself (and you really should). But this poem is a different kind of danger I expose myself to. It is an honest peek into what it feels like, for me, to be on immunosuppressive chemotherapy. It is an ongoing experience, and my body and I are 7 years deep in the trenches, fighting and emerging. This poem is also unlike my usual style, as I shy away from narrative form. It was written in a single sitting, it was not edited at all, and I lay victim to its existence. Willingly. This poem is, at its core, a choice; one I would make over and over again."