About the Feature

Photo by Nanshino Gombie

Listen to our podcast discussing this poem here.


            crumble them if you must but if you do
I will withdraw my pleasantries and boil
            all your chickens which are purring now
            behind my house
                                    in fact considering
                        the circumstance I will bake them
            hard and black as cannonballs
and launch them at you till you are
dead as Columbus and forgotten as
            his sandy sock full of shells

            is a kind of grammar and I am not
a native speaker you are not speaking
to anyone least of all me with my
            crackless whip and boiled
                                    I gave you half my
                        doubt you gave me half
            your wool the judge ruled it
            a fair trade but she didn’t see you
pinching your cheeks to seduce
the bailiff
                        it was summer then
            it is winter now and a bad one so cold
the great lake froze no layer of ice just
            ice and all the baffled fish
                                    frozen mid glub

About the Author

Kaveh Akbar’s poems appear or are forthcoming in the New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. His debut full-length collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, will be published by Alice James Books in September 2017.