Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Now What by Solmaz Sharif

Now What


And so I sat at a tall table

in an Ohio hotel,

eating delivery:

cheese bread


with garlic butter, only it was

not butter, but partially

hydrogenated soy

bean oil


and regular soybean oil and it

came in a little tub like

creamer that’s also not



America in 2019

means a poem will have to

contain dairy that is,

in fact,


not dairy. On Instagram: a man

has bought a ten foot by four

foot photo of a bridge

he lives


beside, bridge he can see just outside

his window, window which serves

as a ten foot by four

foot frame.


My materialist mind, I can’t

shake it. Within a perfect

little tub of garlic



a relief of workers, of sickles,

fields of soy. We were tanners

pushed to the edge of the



once, by the stench, the bubble of vats

of flesh and loosening skin,

back when the city pulled,



bucket by leather bucket, its own

water from wells. Then we worked

the cafeterias

at the


petroleum offices of the

British. Then, revolution—



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