of dead gods & ‘thers

there’s a god in my throat & i’m
facing a direct wall
the god is made of cotton balls

sewed together by old hands
my grandfather was a hospital bed

when he lost his son to cancer
i found him on the cold floor
smelling of oyster nicotine &

granite teeth
threads of oatmeal in a garden
lay flat on my head

a cry, a command by my, your
god under my chin

hung together by a rusted artery
a copper clasp, poking

i was born in a basket & my mother
gave me swimming lessons, first

on the staircase of canadian immigration
i remember her breath calling me son

grandfathers, fathers and mothers
burning coal, rubbing foreheads

for tender skin & a wayward apartment in heaven

dead, dead, death leaving
my mouth in false heritage

i fold & hit my knees for every prayer
i pray for alcohol in my grace & milk
of a wooden god

i eat meat off my bones
i pray for food no one bled for.



not every childhood is a memory

a swing made of white wood swinging in a backyard. i’m swinging with it and so is another girl whose face is marked by prune spit, purple and red fighting under her nose to be the first inside her mouth. she’s 4 and i am somewhere around that, she has brown curls and golden light, my eyes are dried grapes dusted with a powder that smells like spit. her mother was born with white hair in the middle of her head, my father was born as her brother. i’m fighting the urge to compare my arm with her arm, hers is hiding blue water and pink salmon in crystal tears, mine is hiding rotten tar and wishbones in saran wrap. her body is untouched in her younger years, my body is trying hard to be a different pronoun. her mother caresses her locks with her fingers in gentle and calls her a sweet name, i wrap my arms around my chest and hope to feel unconsciousness when fingers caress my limp body. the little girl of 4 laughs in rose lips, i eat bread, crumbs and needles to silence my name. i’m spent, i’m foreign in name, not untouched.

NOOKS KRANNIE is a Palestinian/Persian female writer from Montreal, Canada. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, I have hard feelings & I wish I could quit chocolate (Moloko House Press, 2016) and candied pussy (Thistlemilk Press, 2017). Insta: @nookskrannie web: