American Cosmology

Sahar Romani

Impossible to unlearn
arithmetic of the century—
I produce, therefore I am

armed with a grocery cart
of personal tomatoes,
I push my private property

spend the day on a leash,
mouth unhorsed
across a checklist.

For years I muscled
into the chorus,
ideal fictions of normality

gathered in the drawing room,
flickered across television screens.
Please change the channel.

Tomorrow I’ll upgrade my phone,
split the bill
in American cosmology

there’s shortage
of toilet paper and solidarity,
still the money plant explodes

across terracotta
and window sills,
sweat licks

the lobe of my ear
and the cat is terrified
by the fan’s make-believe breeze.

Isn’t it luxurious?
Even in boredom
my mouth sugar-coated.

Sahar Romani is a poet and educator. Her poems appear in The Believer, Guernica, Poetry Society of America, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and NYU, where she earned an MFA and teaches first-year writing.
Originally published:
September 20, 2021



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