Khalid Abu Dawas

Unaddressed Love Poem:
When Asked About My Hometown
This Poem Washes Me Down its Throat
Cuts the Last Line Open
and the Words Sandcastle Themselves
into Your Face

after Joshua Bennett

I.
i will

tell them the way your curls
like smoke
wrap around the sides of a bed

warn them
that You make fires into newborn nations
and out of me

but only because
i choke on a grin
when i see your name written

in one stroke of Arabic
of a match

i remember the fire
in my dreams

mistaking teta’s ataabas
for your
Love notes song notes
or any side glance
you give a man
who calls your name
just to feel themselves burn

II.
there are days
where i tempt my mouth
to say your name

to see
if i would
survive

III.
will You hold me if i am still alive
will You bury me if i am not

Khalid Abu Dawas, a Palestinian American from San Diego, California, currently studies at New York University in the Global Liberal Studies program. Khalid’s work appears or is forthcoming in Apogee, Black Napkin Press, Public Pool, and The Metaworker. His work investigates mixed ethnic identity in diaspora, and weaves in and out of the intricacies of mental health and masculinity. If he isn’t writing, Khalid is probably taking photos with his cat.




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