SURVEILLANCE OF OFFICE MICRO-AGGRESSION
This snowbank is thigh high
snow is a collection of trapped water.
When the sun is close enough, the water
regains the faint memory of its homeland
I have no place else to go back to
so I watch the slow flurry of new time replacing the old one.
Yesterday, I spent hours stroking the glean off my phone
until it erased every dead thing, until the dead were entwined
into its body. Even my thoughts.
Rehearsing is its own ritual.
I tell myself whatever lies I need to hear
to make it through a day. Today, I go through the motions
until I can make small talk
until I can make laughter too. See, look at me setting your paper-thin world on fire
with these bemused observations in-between coffee breaks.
Meanwhile, I sobbed into the arms of no one
and jolted shut the doorlatch of a bathroom stall
no one could hear the tiny prayer I made
but I know it’s alive.
SAGIRAH SHAHID is a Black Muslim writer from Minneapolis, MN. She was a 2015 recipient of the Loft Literary Center’s Mentor Series award in poetry, a 2017 recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant and a 2016-2017 participant in the Minnesota Center for Book Arts Mentorship series. Her poems and short stories can be found in Mizna, Paper Darts, AtlanticRock, Blue Minaret, and elsewhere.