Poems: Sarah Sarai

Illo for Sarah Sarai's poems.

Keeping It Holy

Vickie told the story about
going out for a carton of milk
on Christmas Day, and
all the stores being closed and
her feeling sly for thinking of Fairfax Ave.
where David’s stars lived.
Stars because they made it out.
Because slow stellar disintegration
no longer serves as model for
astrophysicists and the observant.
Stars because they were alive,
these men and women in black suits
tailored for vaudeville, in
skirts forced to fall like Adam and Eve
to a punishing length.
It’s a thing for mystics to get
pantheistic about the unknown.
To see it here and there, in valleys
and hills, children and parents,
in leaves dry winds scatter.
No coffee and I am a cardboard
stand-in for an empty storefront,
all Potemkin, no scurrying lives.
So I am pro-Vickie, for whom
the eye of the storm—apologies
for the many geographic tugs
on your concentration—
was Christmas, a Saturday that year,
the Sabbath, when stores close so
she-, he-, or them-who-would-be-god
can sit back and do nothing,
at which divinity excels, for instance,
the religious wars of Europe
when millions of brand and
off-brand believers were
slaughtered in the name of.
Yet to the Vickie went the milk,
finally, at a 7-Eleven on Sunset.
The deity known as 24/7 smiled,
and the coffee was filled with joy.


It even had a name: “Freddy.”
Washington Post

I finally get to share good news.
The stolen brain was not
my brain which has a stem
connecting it to my tree of life.
It was a medical-school brain,
also good news as this bit of
real life is creepy but not
Hannibal Lecter creepy.
It makes sense that a thief
would get high smoking weed
and embalming fluid and
a stolen human brain.
There is order in our world,
although the thief’s mother
expressed surprise at finding
a brain under her porch.
If my torso weren’t attached
I know not where my head
would be. I hope not under
a porch next to a stolen brain
or alongside a heart beating
desperately at planks above.
Sarah Sarai is the author of the poetry chapbook Geographies of Soul and Taffeta (Indolent Books) and the book The Future Is Happy (BlazeVOX). Recently her work has appeared in Barrow Street, Painted Bride Quarterly, Posit, Vending Machine Press, Prelude, Sinister Wisdom, and Like a Fat Gold Watch: Meditations on Sylvia Plath (Christine Hamm, ed.).

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