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The Sun Never Pointed Out That Metal Piece by Ayesha Asad

His beard was stained straw,

smoked by desert wind & lipped

by sand. His clothes, greased,

& his dog, pale & red-rimmed,

lion eyes steered by the North star.

I watched it kick up the dust

that settled around, drag its belly

across dried green undergrowth

where the neighbor’s dog waited

with barks that echoed in ringlets

across the darkening canyon.

We were parched, & our tire was whittled

clean through by sharp silver metal.

I think the stars leapt by

that evening, pinking the edge of the sky--

& what was left of the horizon settled

around his thumbs, around the whirring drills

& unlit rooftops. What rain we needed

flashed in our limbs like cut wires

sparking in arcs. Freshwater surging

in our fingertips. How can I forget

how the birds hovered in silence,

as if waiting for the sun to set

so they could drink. How can I forget

his dog, lapping at the leftover sun

scattered on my jeans. A gorgeous

longing—& he slipped his balmy hand

into it, pulled out an answer

as if he lived it.

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