Poem of the Week

What I Want

Kaveh Akbar

To make with a font
or a life

something endless as you.
For you.

A font is a finite set of shapes.
A life is a finite set of shapes.

Pink glass,
blue bullets.

I point
at what I want with my lips.

What I want?
The prosperity

of the wicked
for the just.

To be just.
And prosperous.

A man in uniform
presses a hot iron

to a bullet
set on a naked man’s chest.

The bullet is finite.
The naked man

is finite. Pointed lips
and red glass. Which is a liquid,

it flows over time.
Liquid uniforms,

wicked font.
What I want

is time, endless as you.
And terrible as all this. 

Kaveh Akbar is the author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf and the collection Pilgrim Bell. The poetry editor at The Nation, he teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson College.
Originally published:
May 19, 2021

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