top of page

C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Monostitch; In This One We Win; Sonnet for the drowned

By: A.D. Lauren-Abunassar


See the sun scars and moon moats. See the night-black as it morning-blues. See the way he clogs up the doorway then doesn’t. Your brother ate some flowers they say. What kind you say. My brother has an appetite. In order to breathe I need tomes. In order to breathe I need daylight. Some things crash hot into nighttime. I thought the headlights were meteors. My brother lives like a planet on Sundays. My brother is adamant as lightning rods & sentinel reeds. The cuticle. The fractal. The whole shapes assigned to broken things. I am shapeless as a shapeless thing. He is precise in the way he dog-folds his limbs into something like a wish. Acacia and arbutus. A blossom from a low hanging cornus. A daisy chain of tentacled stems. Don’t worry the fruit is fresh. See the curtain for the weather. The white tufts of pollen. July snowing. A great storm of seedlings. A child sized tourniquet. Don’t worry it won’t catch. Unfillable grooves left in soft carpets. That softness breeds voids. Before the world was round it was a private ocean. He hates private oceans. I like meaningless lakes. The desire line is erosion ground in by foot trails. When I want I want foot-first. I am the will he / without me. The clouds are only invisible because his eyes are closed.

Cutting the skin of my first gold apple. The tearing of stitches and discardable thread. See God as the gold fuzz on earlobes. Picture sound bites mid-biting, all that bites to bite first. I prefer the soft wire hangers with the dry paper centers. See axolotls and genomes and regrowable limbs. My brother chasing the cure for lightleft eyes. Poisons have better names than antidotes and this has always been true. I cannot bear to love first, or the braveness in falter. John said in the dark all cats are black. A wildfire in a bird cage a bird in a housecat. The catching of salmon and letting them go. The eating of weeds and the tracking of dirt in A saint song. A God-wish. It’s high time he moved mountains. See ongoing as undoing each history he carried like wings drilled to bone. Petaling poorly and the worst storm we lived through. How we catch, cook, & plunder. How we couldn’t assemble the tent. My brother before going: in order to live I do not need words I need time.

In This One We Win

— or else, the middleweight boxer his scar-tipped thumbs like sheets of cardstock — who would have thought two streets down your father was pruning roses — the same sound of bonecrush — a flammable wanting. A neglected housecat, a warm forehead unchecked, your sheets too small for the bedplane. A bee stings your earlobe you think memorable robot it’s soft corpse translucent when held toward the sun. You bury it next to the hamsters — a grave no bigger than a matchbox car —

rain falling thick as scar tissue six miles away on your mother— she thinks I didn’t mean to keep walking. A man watches her tumble off the curb her lipsplit purple as unwashed plums, thinks obedient daisy — one with the concrete. Somewhere a fight is ending. Somewhere one fist and not another, one rose and not another, one cloud dissolving to dusklight, another cloud emptying its pockets. You call me to come check for the barb still caught in your ear.

Sonnet for the drowned

debris — the cloven swelter, severed wholeness. Tree line’s umbilicus curve; loam-life thriving: Pillbugs and Woodlouse. Millipede I mistake for an extra small radiator hose. Cicatrix leaves I mistake for upturned palms. Verb for the sake of verbing. Clouds loom but mind their business. Noun on behalf of the cumulus’ cause, the wind’s script. The world’s own fierce coming into its own. Weathervane pivoting to the storm-thrush, steel smell launching a great grey tirade if only the world had wings.

Everyday a passing parade of buttons that are stupid colors. Warm hands cold fingers. The skirting water the skirting water. White foams journey through the water: bride coved in river curl. Churning. Churning. A wager launched the river-way: I have uptaken the pliable bone, the barbarous fish, the west elms stripped fast. Ruckus muslin bunched at the mouth, feeling the bony claw of rootwork daily. The point is pressure — how I have wished to make a good photograph.

Crane erasing dove. Prudently trimmed fence lines hedging into the overgrown. Unkept life as unsmoothed hairlines. Untender fowl plucking away. A crow counts to six and says I am afraid and I need to escape. I too am trying to move on.

Someone recommends raspberries and does not come back: the responsibility of the dream. The upturned cups. The two sodden matchbooks. There are two kinds of dream— the silvering seams of the mudbank. The top halves of bubbles: helmets stippling, reflecting, diamantine. Gratitude is the act of chosen difficulty. Thin sheaths of candy wrappers littering the walkway. Lozenges of light. Luckily evening. Luckily air is involved in my rapture. Luckily bur oak intervenes in columnar shafts. The brutal red leaves: paradisiacal spinning. The headaches of beauty. The edgeless ways of a day at work and how hard the world works. The sheer impossibility. The not moving on and the knots moving on in tireless motions of waters urging. Corsucating. I want to know how. I would like to be told of ongoing. The rippling shadows of faraway buildings. The beached bodies of starlit debris. Frog carcass’ neon viscera Fish wire in hot wreaths A bike someone once tried to ride then left here


A.D. Lauren-Abunassar is an Arab-American writer who resides in Iowa City, IA. Her work has appeared in The Moth, Zone 3, Spires, Comstock Review, The Apeiron Review, Zeniada, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of the 2017 Zone 3 Annual Poetry award, an Academy of American Poets award honorable mention, and was a 2017 fellow at the Bucknell Seminar for Young Poets. She is currently pursuing her M.F.A at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.


bottom of page