"recommendations for opportune commitments"

Asiya Wadud


if you like oxygen try duckweed

if you like duckweed try evening



if you like evening try vessel                          

if you like vessel try hurt



if you like hurt try aphasia      if you wanted a vantage try containment



try containment and see what it breeds        commitment and see its good stock



try any breed and see if its electric                                     

try a current and see if you need it

            try a demand and see where it meets you



you liked the limestone, try quickness                       quickness begets forgiveness

            beckons throwback



you liked when I was a mute alphabet

so try speaking

you like the pall now try the fixed sun



if you like a contoured language try ruffage

if you like mother tongue try the magistrate

if you like control then

tether a horse


if you like duckweed try to skim the surface

if you like distance try the island                   

if you like evening try vessel

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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.