Five Love Poems

Kaveh Akbar

Spring 2017

I meant to invite you
to my confession
and maybe I did
it might
have gotten lost in the mail
or in the back
of my mouth
who can keep track of such
loss
I was so focused on what
I would confess
and in whose language

*

I know if I were
stronger
you would
love me less
but today I demand both
strength
and devotion
the iron general
and the iron horse he rides

*

like a witch boiling a corpse
down to its oils
it’s possible to reduce a life
to its worst sin
the work is unsavory yes
but afterwards
it has a thousand uses

Kaveh Akbar’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the New Yorker, Poetry, APR, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. His debut full-length collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, will be out with Alice James Books in September 2017.

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