Summer Qabazard

Summer Qabazard is a poet who grew up in Kuwait and now lives in Normal, Illinois where she is a Ph.D student at Illinois State University. Her poem "All Hands Bury the Dead" appears in The University of Missouri - St. Louis's literary magazine, LitMag.


Three Poems (January 20, 2012. Issue 34.)


I hoped you would come
bringing blues and golds
in blinking rays and cotton waves

Everything in me
hoped you would come
with flecks of glitter, gold and cobalt

You move and the sun falls, rises
in your hair, eyes, skin like gold dust
a universe circles your irises

You turn the world from watercolor
to oil paint, rich in golds, azures
my fingertips find the textures of you

Your laugh, a cascade of plum turning silver
spirals in me as I try to remember
the scent of you, the harmonies of your face

You left me in a trance that spins
where the world flows, but without you
I can't stop watching the door

Warmth, loving on my breath
fills the spaces around me
where you were, a mosaic of colors

Transfix me with love
and let me study your geometry
your wide A sounds, your blue eyes

Red under prickling moon-glint
I offer you my two hands full of stars
but wake before you take them

Your colors flood to me
my heart opens to them, echoing as they swim
in through the pathways

Ripples of silk golden and waters sapphire
create a hush. White light keeps
me in your hues
stanza break
I die away waiting for you
in thin silence, substanceless air
a scar in my hand, I hold you

You watch me, lightning webs across me
warm and human, our legs close in the booth
your bed-blue eyes have me.

Falls Apart

I climbed into her room, her moon garden
with magnolia, snowdrops, yarrow, and foxglove
with tulips, candytuft, and pear trees
with these, there was me
and her dead body
under me, young and brown.

I let her go. I knew she'd die
I killed my girl in Kuwait. I let her mother
suck the air out of her room and I killed her
I let her mother tell her we couldn't be
I let her believe I let her go
I let her go. I let her go.

I let her go with earth chattering under foam
on her street, on angel drive
I let her go in thin blue air
I let her go. Closed her brown eyes
I taste the salt of them. Stillness
in material blues, darkness throws me through
air. She dissolves when she dies. I let her go
my arms close and close around nothing
my insides, my insides, she took with her
unrepentant center petals
trap forbidden patterns
I felt, I died. I let – I collapse from the sky – her go.

I close my eyes, see forms in surf
warmth, wash bodies, beautiful
clinging in waves truly dead truly
the beautiful dead ones
she whispered don't ever let me go
don't ever.

The Coffeehouse, Normal, IL

At the coffeehouse, I fall in for four hours
molecules evaporate note by note
the scent of curry spinning in the center
it is dots and lines of orange
in the oxygen and carbon dioxide
the wooden furniture, longstanding room
remind me of the smell of cats from another time
behind me, the woody, musky scent of men
before me, the soft, soapy smell of women
silver glints off the spoon and mug, clinking
through my reverie
whiz khalifa in instrumental
to my ear buds makes me feel like I belong
a couple of hours south of chicago
all in my blood with bumping, spanking bass lines
round folks jamming into booths
my feet in purple converse, faded star
bouncing on the gray carpet
drumming secretly, heartbeating
phatt man, the heart beats backwards
coffee with trailing cress twists the senses
november corners
the aura
brown so alive it bends beyond the rim
down deep into the infinity of me
where there is time
a balloon of light with stripes of all colors
hangs over Mary's head as she stacks cups
with long brown hair, mellifluous, waxing gold
she lapses into the fold of air bringing her footprints
her white teeth creating song, her voice bel canto
she walks mezzo-soprano, mezzo-legato, full bow
with controlled wrist movements,
flesh and shapes, her body moving
the chocolate sound of cello, bringing cadences
of night and warmth taking the space inside me with her
and bringing it back with the lilt of her phrasing
the coffeehouse is a map that marks the crossroads
and tells me that I know what I never should have known
it shows me its ghosts and dares me
to tell them to come and get me with the lights off.

The Legendary