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'Immigrant' by poet Farnaz Fatemi

Farnaz Fatemi
Farnaz Fatemi
Farnaz Fatemi

Poet Farnaz Fatemi reads her poem "Immigrant."


Now that I have learned

the backbend in skirts

and braids, gaze on the horizon

I know is there and I know

knows me, I would not change

anything. These moves keep me

limber enough to see

upside-down. My brain knows

better. Inverted,

I am a beast of burden

carrying myself.

I would not

change anything.

The seafoam green

of the shifting seasons,

the geese I hear

when I can’t see, the way

my manicure keeps me

from using my fingers.

It is good exercise, to change

posture, position, remove

the horizon from the equation.

I am oriented to the west

or to the east. It’s stasis

that dizzies.

If I try too hard

to stay in the bend, I forget

myself, I take false breaths,

imagine it’s easy.

I straighten up to start again.

I breathe deep. Collect

the red blood cells. Draw down.