The bare oak in the backyard caught its own broken branch.
God loves your struggle. Nonviolence. Apply lemon
to the cut, then attach it back to the branch. Keep it clean
until your mother notices and starches the sky a lilac sheet
outside. Skin purples because God doesn’t like this kind
of struggle. You’re drawing the arrow too far back,
say the twigs. Their trees agree, hanging over each other
like a pair of gangly girls. I don’t love you unless I have to,
standing on my porch because you can’t talk to your parents
alone. Stripped by indecision and the last patches of snow
melting in a halo around your feet, I don’t love you except for sometimes,
when you feel homeless under anything that resembles a roof.
We both sleep lightly in the wrong houses, caught in the strong winds
that pulled out a flowering night, the moon an ivory petal.
Farah Ghafoor is a fifteen-year-old poet and a founding editor at Sugar Rascals, an online teen literary magazine. Her work is published or forthcoming in Ninth Letter, alien mouth, Words Dance, and Red Paint Hill among other places, and has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Farah is the recipient of the 2016 Alexandria Quarterly Emerging Artists and Writers Award. She believes that she deserves a cat. Find her online at fghafoor.tumblr.com.