Hera Naguib

Premonition of a Break-Up before Buttering Lamb Chops

Deep into the kitchen’s gut, the street tides
back the unhooked warning: do not let him
become your memory of the city. By which
I remember how a man can take and take

until a woman shreds to splinter. For my
carelessness, I wait for some curse: a flash

and zap, or my toes to web and invert.
That night, I dream a lizard I killed crawls

back, overgrown. I cudgel it and sculpt out
its brain matter. When I wake up, the walls

smooth over like a frozen river. I cut my nails
and spring nerves. Aloneness, I finally think,

can be two things: empty or clean. All after-
noon, my body looms by the stand of knives

as I leaf out on its clear half-circle of blades.

Hera Naguib is a writer from Lahore, Pakistan. Her poems have appeared in The Journal, World Literature Today, Prairie Schooner, Copper Nickel, Southeast Review, among others. She is a former recipient of a fellowship from VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and earned an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, New York. Currently, she resides in Tallahassee where she is pursuing her PhD in Creative Writing from Florida State University.