About the Feature

Photo by Louise Pilgaard on Unsplash


Understand I can no longer consider the alternatives.
I’ve run in every direction at once and found myself

out of breath, but not out of harm’s way. I know harm’s
way, all her horses’ names. Pills and Noose and Knife

and Love, always Love the last to leave the burning barn,
like how hope was the last horror to flee Pandora’s

jar. If I was hope, I would have stayed there, that one place
guaranteed free from pain, but no longer.

I want to live, for what it’s worth. I want what it’s worth,
all of it: the tepid joys and every stone thrown

down sorrow’s well-worn throat, horseshoes for handles
on every exit’s door. Hinges oiled in lamb’s blood,

not mine. Not mine. Not—                                 What’s that sound?
My last canary in the coal shaft, singing at dawn.


About the Author

Jaz Sufi (she/hers) is a mixed-race Iranian-American poet and arts educator. Her work has been published or is upcoming in Agni, Diode, Birdfeast, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman fellow and National Poetry Slam finalist, winner of the 2020 Yellowwood Poetry Prize, and is currently pursuing her MFA as a Goldwater fellow at New York University.