First, to dig a ditch the shape of a body or, shallower and closer to home, scrape off flaky lead paint or dead skin blistered dry by sun. Second, to play a trick or spoons or pull with your teeth—bend with your mind to make a spectacle. You’re a spectacular jubilee. Look, it’s a mirror holding your face that ends up where the light curves where you end and the up ends. Comeuppance upends in an up- stairs away from the noise of the kids. You barely recognize your self- portrait in a convex curl. Third, to pool light in, to sip lightly from, to be a way toward light— a conduit connecting cut lamp wire. Fourth, to scoop the eye jelly of a Cyclops from between your foot and sandal or scratch off the sap-turned-tar of a burnt log driven into the oculus of some Polyphemus, which either means much renowned or many reputations or a straight-A student cutting sophomore English again like here we go digging again— a hole the size of a larger body this time. Isn’t that the way it goes? Fifth, to steer a mouse afloat, a rudder or oar for a mouse-sized boat. I’ll say hat, and you’ll say we’re playing again. Sixth, I’ll say poem, and you’ll say we’re playing again. I’ll say this spoon is an or. Oar? No, or. I think you mean and. I think I mean and I’m startled that I do at all—
Dujie Tahat is a Filipino-Jordanian immigrant living in Washington state. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Sugar House Review, Nashville Review, the Southeast Review, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, the American Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. Dujie has earned fellowships from the Richard Hugo House and Jack Straw Writing Program. He serves as a poetry editor for Moss and Homology Lit and cohosts the Poet Salon podcast. He got his start as a Seattle Poetry Slam Finalist, a collegiate grand slam champion, and Seattle Youth Speaks Grand Slam Champion, representing Seattle at HBO’s Brave New Voices.