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


Rachel Cusk

The novelist on the “feminine non-state of non-being”
Merve Emre


Renaissance Women

A new book celebrates—and sells short—Shakespeare’s sisters
Catherine Nicholson

Fady Joudah

The poet on how the war in Gaza changed his work
Aria Aber

You Might Also Like


Sahar Romani


Prageeta Sharma

Park Street

Cindy Juyoung Ok


Sign up for The Yale Review newsletter and keep up with news, events, and more.