Almost You - Shooooz
I hate The stories I build around your absences They are, every one of them, fictions Worse than fictions: lies
I love the person I invent In your stead While you are somewhere Unreachable The person who Laughs at all the right pauses Has all the right responses Who is you Minus every element of you I want to omit You Plus every fantasy I don’t want to admit I love this shadow person, Insanely
I hate that I keep at it Inventing these stories, this Ocean floor person Who is never today what I imagined yesterday
I hate that you are not this person That I can so easily not love you But can't help loving this almost-you
Shooooz is an artist, writer, and performance poet, whose work has been featured in the Sakura Review and MuslimGirl. She is the founder and director of Manifest Creativity, a Pittsburgh-based initiative centering Muslim artists and other marginalized voices. She has featured as Steel City’s 2019 Slam Champion, and previously represented Seattle at the 2018 National Poetry Slam.