Illustration by George Abraham

i.      site of injury turned site of inquiry turned how we met in the field turned virtual &         faceless turned ownership in its annotation turned listen to me turned i am trying to tell         you turned at least i had a face to remember

ii.     in redaction, his eyes are no less distant, no less obscured by the lightless apartment          lightless face reflectionless eyes: this is how a body begins to blend into a room (viii)          begins to become it

iii.    the white behind his collar or the white he hid behind or the white he saw me in or the          white matter not of imagination but its projection i mean men in polos are the least          sufferable let alone fuckable am i right or am i sorry how easy is it to tell it’s been a          while since i’ve

iv.     considering the way a pattern of slits when struck by light can invisiblize or otherwise          distort and considering how such diffractions always boil down to the question of          distance when he looked at me and said you don’t look middle eastern or i guess i don’t          look asian either or i’m only attracted to men like you i couldn’t help but wonder if he          was looking (ix) instead for some notion of perhaps mirrored distance in me

v.      window my body before the fall window my inaccessible elsewhere when window          the whiteness when window the frame when window the grid window the target          window the grid inside the target window the narrative nesting window the          inheritance of glass’s inheritance of sand window the particle window the filter to my          looking (ix)

vi.     not a book but a menu not intellect but hunger not want but desire not the          premeditated but the instinct not feast but imagination of not a holding never a                    holding but always

vii.    no matter the distances from which i gaze nor however many focal centers (ix) i make           of his figure i am always returned to the whiteness of my image of him preceding the           whiteness of memories   example: in the shower he wanted to wash me as he rubbed           himself pink example: a hair was his border between tolerable and desirable           genuine question: is his whiteness my critique or my rationalization¹ of           example: who is searching for a mirror in this example who is doing the searching

viii.   it wasn’t his hands that fixed me into place, but the way his legs rooted into me like a           frame (imagine him) straddling, riding, whatever metaphor for pleasure in his taming           (of me) how his question was not of angles but torque (imagine) not of thrust but           end-effector how quickly (in that dark (in his sleight (of hand))) a man could           unlatex me into a question mark (why didn’t you) i wanted to leave but i was question           mark i wanted to (at least finish) leave but i was already imaginary i wanted to leave but           he was already (inside me?

ix.       to the looking itself:

                                            do you feel exposed?

                                                                                               are you terrified yet?

x.       whereas the violated party must present evidence of whereas who can claim
          ownership of images such as whereas fair use permits the unlicensed use of
          copyright-protected whereas whose body was fair and whose was whereas even in
          absentia an image still whereas under penalty of perjury, i




 ¹ First Message After [REDACTED] 

          hey, i’m not sure what’s going on but i think you gave me [REDACTED]. i’m starting to           have symptoms (and i remember u said something abt feeling [REDACTED] and all           when we [REDACTED]). you’re the only one i’ve [REDACTED] in the past 3ish months           (and the only [REDACTED] [REDACTED] in a long long time). even if ur not showing           signs of [REDACTED], as many ppl don’t at first, you may be passing it on 

George Abraham

George Abraham (they/هو) is a Palestinian American poet. Their debut poetry collection, Birthright (Button Poetry, 2020), won the Arab American Book Award and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. They are a recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, the Arab American National Museum, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the National Performance Network, and more. They are currently coediting a Palestinian global anglophone poetry anthology with Noor Hindi (Haymarket Books, 2024) and serving as Mizna’s executive editor. They are based in Chicago, where they are a Litowitz MFA+MA student at Northwestern University.