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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Medical Student; giving back the night sky; Purity

By: Muhammad Saleemi

Medical Student

Six ink crows sweep the pliant pewter air and

press into the deep of his still shoulder.

Milk light steeps the skin upon the other

and falls into the sweet of his bare chest,

the subtle valley which those birds have left.

giving back the night sky

It’s dirty flotsam corpse shines hot like a sleeping lover.

The moon is a dead body that will not sink, lover.

Do you ever think you would like to breathe in the ocean?

First sit on the hill and kiss each star and drink, lover.

I am sorry that the harvest moves with the hands of God.

If the night drags back the moon, will you stay to sing, lover?

A white circle is clasped against the black by a hot penumbra

and I’m looking outside the window for anything, lover.

An upturned bowl of water, hot salt scattered on God’s tablecloth:

I place each grain back into the ceramic and ask for nothing, lover.


The branches grow

from me like tributaries out.

I am so filled.

I am a plenum of relief.

The hills flow around me like

ocean swells.

Bursting houses like the gates of Tartarus

bring them to the spectacle.

I am slow to light, dampened,


But I do not doubt - I am all hot and restless now.

The city is filled with me.

My branches grow from limbs into streets:

Come and see! Come and pick at me!

The tepid sinner flailing anxiously.

I am calling them up in flames which lick

the edges of the Church and bring them

like ashes to the city square.

I am scattered in the crowd and I eat

their children with my eyes and the dripping of my skin.

They see the smoke drape me in robes.

No less than a million veils between me and God

and each of them is burning up.


Hassan Saleemi has written poetry for close to a decade, but has only recently started publishing. He studies philosophy and biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He writes about faith, sexuality, and philosophy.


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