"by chance I could find you on Delta flight 172"

Asiya Wadud


          today you tended your dog

          his hind leg wrapped in a clean black cast


          standard poodle, dusting of sunset

          my little subsister


the animal strutted proudly

all through his body

          his plastered leg barely dragged





this was all while many other



while many others listed

every burden a compensation




I love where you place the animal's


his awareness of where you

place his needs




          need is a reflexive gesture


the animal      and the animal


need is a disciplined





of thought

a throughway,

my love



                    riotous love brims on


                    the animal's informal





all the other



all the others



love, then,

became our gentle

gabled clarity



                    your wet nose which I

          will always miss

          your brindle

          your raised back leg

          you:     urchin, vagrant ocean           




today I will tend my dog

today I will tend to my dog's standard cast

even when I am without the dog

today I will tend my dog

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Author Bio: Asiya Wadud is the author of Crosslight for Youngbird (Nightboat Books, 2018), day pulls down the sky… a filament in gold leaf written collaboratively with Okwui Okpokwasili (Belladonna, 2019) and Syncope (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019). Her collection No Knowledge Is Complete Until It Passes Through My Body (Nightboat Books) is forthcoming in 2020. Her recent work appears in BOMB Magazine, Best American Experimental Writing, Washington Square Review, and Makhzin, among others. Asiya teaches poetry to children at Saint Ann’s School and leads an English conversation group for new immigrants at the Brooklyn Public Library.