Dana Alsamsam

:sock feet:


Snow develops my city from the side
like a photo print: the top fades out:
             quiet, so quiet
This is a different picture we are creating
only wool-lined shoulders remember
             the gray
             and what comes through the gray
when it’s quiet: the square root of gray:
sparkles and sometimes tongues

::::

The cohort of pigeons
has taken its place
in the train-platform heater:
incubating:
             we are in their space

::::

I am small and quiet like a sock foot
is small and quiet: in a house: my house:
I remember with much smaller feet
and more trust and less laundry
and smaller tragedies.

I remember with more mother less father
but now it’s all father and no mother
who is half way to a snowier place
than Chicago

A list of what is unchanged:
             dad’s indigo pajamas with too-short legs

A list of what is changed:
             towels and doors
             couches
             spatial proximities
             the will
             the blame

::::

A milk bottle filled
with sprigs of scented firs
on our dining table:
one empty chair::

             We laugh at the image
             the poetics of it

             the normalcy of now
             and the happily irrelevant
             stance of us

After so much turbulence:
we settle

::::

I want sleep to be like this though it never is:
not cotton not blanket just quiet
as the snow: nobody walking in it

::::

The Midwest
opens its chest
wide for heart
to scream
but instead
this white!
This vast expanse
of learned
quietude

In winter:
as in father:
your anger
will protect us all
from complacency
will shield us
from believing
too heavily
in our in-
vincibility in
the Midwest
we are still
cold
and quiet:

sock feet go
             shush shush::

Dana Alsamsam is the author of a chapbook, (in)habit (tenderness, yea press, 2018), and her poems are published or forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, Gigantic Sequins, Poetry East, Tinderbox, Cosmonauts Avenue, Fugue, The Boiler Journal, BOOTH and others. She is a Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat Fellow in the 2018 Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. A Chicago native, Dana is currently an MFA candidate at Emerson College.