Hamsa as Talisman
After Philip Metres
As a child I was cautioned against false prophets and dichotomies, but then why do
I wake up to a memory of my mother’s eyeglasses and a pounding heart: an omen
vs. a bam ba-babambambam, a Swedish trap pop artist’s pounding beat: an earworm.
The static when all is silent: an earworm.
I have an earworm for months and spend seven weeks searching for
a verse, scouring magazines, the cloud, other writers:
I hope you find your
…and I hope you find your
to realize I remembered only one of those words right and the lines in my memory
aren’t real, so
I write them now: an omen.
I walk into a temple and help light candles,
charring the silver wick to stain white wax, but goddamn if it still
doesn’t glow. The flame: an earworm.
I think about Kabir, and his poem is selected as
prayer of the evening: an omen.
Instead of envying the women I work with, I fall in love with them, because it makes things less
complicated: fighting an omen against
memories of a dead lover’s eyes: an earworm.
Don’t think I won’t burn the body to break the memory.
Don’t think I won’t destroy the brain to kill the earworm.
I stay up coding until 2am for the ninth week in a row and wonder why I nightmare: omen.
I doze off, standing on a crowded subway car when the train halts: omen, and I am
pushed onto a woman, sitting: omen. I think she’s pretty, but I don’t tell her: omen. Instead, I apologize: omen.
She tells me it’s okay: an earworm.