1-

Cattle in the agriculture of a self
besieged by the deceit of payback

as insurance against extinction.
There are other ways.

Everything in moderation. The middle
path comes after violence. No point

in whose brutality was on first,
who balked, and who walked it home.

2-

When we decipher memory
we’ll have created another memory:

longing and reflex are forever
in the package insert.

3-

What kind of yearning, and what response?
You’re a tourist in your identity,

from earthworms to diatoms,
extraordinary exhibition of ordinary

you behind love lines,
all the way behind them.

You weren’t parachuted in,
you were born in—back against the wall,

you screamed at grizzlies
but they were stuffed animals.

4-

We sent emails, holograms, online petitions,
“Maybe this, too, is love”

we said to ourselves and they heard us think it,
neo-Cupids who asked us

“to find out how others love
differently than we love.”

5-

Inert and bloated with epigenetics,
“All bodies are local,” I shouted.

Another softly murmured, “Our bodies
are endless but we’re all one.”

That’s when my wife shook me.
“For real, Fady, this is for real,” she said.