June, Driving

by Fatima Jafar

for Mina

That unrelenting geometry of
narrow backseat slice— squashed between
your mother and brother. 

The cloying knock of
knee against
knee that ignited
your anger with such ease:
a purple match head, scratching
a dry surface. 

A wet cheek,

a childhood spilled from
dashboard to trunk, filling the car
with water. 

The elders spoke to each other
with their eyes, disapproving. 

The car pressed on, gained
grateful weight: 

           a cloth bag of leaking mangoes,
                      a packet of yogurt,
                                a stranger.

At the lake I bought a
bracelet of black glass,
took a photograph of you—

you, you, tall in that sticky day,
your reflection trembling
in green water.

Fatima Jafar is a Pakistani Muslim poet living in Boston, where she is an MFA Poetry candidate at Emerson College. Her work has been published, or is forthcoming, in Banshee Press, Nimrod, The Sandy River Review, The Pinch and more. Her first chapbook has just been published with Bottlecap Press. You can find her on Twitter at @rafajf2112.