the afternoon I held Forgiveness in my psalms

Poem by Yasmin Jajarmi (c2018), Photograph by Karen Ngo (c2018)

ask for me and you shall receive, Forgiveness told me one afternoon,
but seek me
in that other holy place: in your patient
whose body is the temple;
find me there—
and after, when you have peered up,
through the astrologist’s telescope,
witnessed every constellation kiss,
and still missed his Cancer—
after, when you have helped her birth a still-born still-heaven child,
when you notice medicine never birthed you whole either,
when you notice medicine did not birth you
in a hospital or a water bath,
but in an ivory tower—
jump, choose Camelot
and ask that I am mixed in the river-rime
ask for me to stay an afternoon
to remind you of your pulse,
and i’ll remind you: landmark first, then press,
count: brach-ial brach-ial
break-heal break-heal,
break heal: look,
look at how your pulse fills its own cracks.

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