Tarik Dobbs: Three Poems

 Photo by  Ashim D’Silva  on  Unsplash    [Image Description: A orange, canyon peak and the purple tinged surrounding stone edge wraps around a section of blue sky.]

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

[Image Description: A orange, canyon peak and the purple tinged surrounding stone edge wraps around a section of blue sky.]

A Hadith or Saying for White Boyfriends

I taught you how to dabke

like a fool, I crossed heel over


left, you wouldn’t, gripping

your pockets insides


left hand forward, indolence

rendering love into sputtering,


a welcoming lost

between ourselves,


erasing yourself

erasing my face


My Uncle Who Died of AIDS Probably

To murder outside touching bodies

cradle to that grave


telling food time by

sound of bowls


silhouette thinning out

some old fruit


you

at your funeral

brimming with ants

putrefaction


the nicest way


Yo2borneh*

Everything I don’t think they care about

is exactly what the story is


You bury me, I tell the man on a layover,

I tug his band—

21, 23, 24—two went to Arizona State,

he kisses my knuckles, weren’t you


Diesel fog perfuses headlights, perfume

I can’t see the greenness/

valley, only murky contour, he reaches

for what’s buried beneath my floors,


let him creak/

without a doubt,

I was buried when the djinn shrieked

beneath my belly


sweaty windows,

I twist the ignition in the Audi A4

engine screeching/radiator bubbling

unburied, threshing/inducing nausea


Light-filled loft, the mother’s watching East

Village glass doors/no condoms

on this tour, he yanks my tongue

beneath again & again, we say


I love you, son, I beg to

resurge, exhume

a fistful of sand, sent his daughter

to Oregon State, he pulls


says his boy can’t keep out of girls,

buried a grandson

age four,

car alarm ringing


I say salaam & bonjour

djinn flings my lost lenses at the door


———————

* (Ya-a-bal-nih); Arabic transliteration; “2” = أ = “a”


Tarik Dobbs is a queer, Lebanese-American poet from Dearborn, MI. He is the winner of a fellowship and two awards in the 2018 Michigan Hopwood Program. His poems are forthcoming or recently appear in diode, Tinderbox, and Glass. He draws inspiration from stories of his mother and grandmother.