Paul Kareem Tayyar


It is what I cannot see from these heights.

The footprints one leaves on the sea after love,
The traces of cloud that mist into ceremony after laughter.

From here vision is abstract, palette, an arrangement of bodies and light.

I would orphan naming for the candling of grass in summer,
The autumn recitations of color onto rooftops and skin,
The monarch’s floating tapestry in the early hours of spring.


I return to something simple.

Your hand on a curtain, pulling it into
Place to cover the stars, making certain
I had the safety to dream in my own time,
With no moons watching from a farther world.

I stand at the window beside you,
Looking into a street moving too quickly for an
Old man trying to make his way in the sunlight.

But, you understood tempo, your heart something I used to
Imagine bright enough to be photographed from space: its
Own nation, vegetable shaped, bracketed by rivers and seas,
The evening meal warming on the stove.

I never found the secrets I thought I would on your
Records.  Their voices were not your own.  What song
Could tell of commitment that had no chorus, only a single,
Sustained note, like a wave that never breaks, housing a child
And his glass wrists, putting your arms down to break any fall?

Paul Kareem Tayyar

Paul Kareem Tayyar's poems and stories have been published in a variety of journals, including Ibbetson St., The Santa Monica Review, Into the Teeth of the Wind, and HazMat Review.  He is currently an English Lecturer at Golden West College, and is working on his Ph.D. in American Literature at U.C. Riverside.



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