Poetry | ‘Reprise: A Confession’ by Molly Zhu | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Reprise: A Confession

Amir, I bet you don’t even remember this, but
I do. The day you told me you were a Muslim, we
were in the fourth grade and (forgive me) I was young
I didn’t know how to decipher the mass of your words quite
like I do now. I gashed the air around you with my tongue –
I delivered my disgust.
Light drained from your cheeks and the damage I had left
blotched in your skin.
(Suffice it to say) I am sorry now, as I was sorry then,
only seconds later, I immediately wished
I could take it all back, stuff a foam mattress once more into its
vacuum-sealed plastic casing, fish the sun from the Rubicon
and pull it back to sheltered earth.
(Of course, I could not do this).

Amir, I too, am a pawn in a poisoned America. I drink
from the groundwater where the hatred runs off to,
it swells under our homes and our gardens,
in our capillaries, in our swallowing throats.
Then it slinks out from the bottoms of our voices and back
into the air. So, I drink
the morality of the 24-hour news cycle
rolling on a whining hamster wheel, it
blares from the TV, the radio, I look up to what the
men in pressed suits are telling me, to what my parents tell me
in hushed tones whispering into cups of green tea,
I take what is dispatched to me, and
I dispatch that back to you… though sometimes,
(I tell myself) sometimes, I think twice.

Amir, I don’t know if you even think of me or that day,
here I am trying to answer to you, answer to me:
outlier or harbinger? I’m sorry. By the way,
I’m not like that now,
I’m not like that now.

Molly is a new poet and she lives in Brooklyn, New York. For her day job, she is a corporate attorney and in her free time, she loves thinking about words and reading and eating. She has previously published in the Rising Phoenix Review, the Ghost City Press, and 805 Lit + Art. Her work is forthcoming in Uppagus. You can find her on Instagram at: @mlz316.

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