Inam Kang is a Pakistani-born Muslim poet, student, and curator currently living in Cleveland, OH. He is an MS candidate in Medical Physiology at Case Western Reserve University. He is also a co-curator and founder of the POC-centered reading and dialogue series FRUIT in Ann Arbor, MI. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Winter Tangerine, Tinderbox and other journals and anthologies. His parents are great. He is probably crying in rush hour traffic.
This poem was shortlisted for the 2018 Peach Gold in Poetry with guest judge Morgan Parker.
by Inam Kang
the feds don’t know i’m a scorpio
and that’s the shortest distance between
me and my shit,
having it together is a pipe dream.
my birth certificate is full of mistakes.
i’m from a place, born
in another, living in a different
state of thirst.
ten different men walked through my apartment
and of course i said it
as long as you’re here, help me carry this,
but nobody’s really working.
i don’t do much alone unless it’s
feeding my skin to the outside world.
crave me, crave me, i’m a brilliant person
with a loud mouth and sometimes the work’s free
in the shape of a culling.
i mean i have a lot to offer,
apart from my inherent danger and its
feeding on the parts of the nation
they swear to protect
with their hard work and
i mean i’m enough
for a night but there’s a different
dawn that they’d like to
get to already.
i wonder if people still write about the earth,
about things they’ve completely given up
what goes on in their offices
and their mouths,
calling on my age,
my good song-
i reign on the weight of that alone.
come for me, come for me,
i’m your last stop before you hit
the moon. i mean
it’s a reach. the last time
i worked this hard,
nobody died except for someone’s
expectation that i stay