Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 2



Insomniac Confessions

Nofel


It’s been seven days into 2021 and all I can think of is death
and a hairy ass to fuck. A part of me wishes I stayed in love
a little longer following our breakup, for the memory of love
is not nearly as pleasant as love itself. The sweat on his lips
after he blows me off, the aroma of his pubic hair, the semen staining
white sheets during anal sex—all I still attempt to recollect when I jerk off
but fail. It’s not so much him I miss, though that too, but the intimacy,
the crying while fucking. On my late night walks, I pay particular attention
to my footsteps and the dance between the wind and the trees’ thinnest branches
in order to make out a rhythm of the present. “This is called susurrus.”
I once told another man as we kissed, my back against a yellow cedar.
Susurrus reminds me of men, and of my semen on the grass by an old bench.
Semen brings to mind a poem on death by Mahmoud Darwish.
Most things serve as a reminder of either a person or a poem.
It’s almost impossible to live only in the present. How funny!
The tiniest leaves quiver in this repetitive dance and some fall off.
Streetlamps make visible the sidewalk’s dead leaves. O, how I want
to look as vibrant as those pink leaves when I die. Light reminds me of God
and God reminds me of death. Allahu Akbar! Dear lord, please be real.
I’ve left my house because it’s three in the morning and I can’t sleep,
each inch of my body carrying a memory, unshaken by the wind.
Leaves fall onto the ground not due to ecology or the wind,
but because everything gets boring with time—remembering, too.



Nofel (نوفل): “I am a Canadian poet and essayist. My poems and essays are forthcoming or recently appear in Yolk Literary Journal, House: Queer Black and Brown Creative Anthology, Diaspora Baby Blues, The Nasiona, and Canadian Notes and Queries. My Arabic writing can be found on Raseef 22 and Jeem.me.”




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