no aesthetic outside my freedom

Fargo Tbakhi

As promised: "the title of the second poem comes from a line by Mahmoud Darwish as translated by Fady Joudah. if accepted, however you'd like to acknowledge this would be rad!"

i know that you are beautiful
             if you love me with a bite.
if you hold my hand and make
             a picket line. ""what’s exciting
isn’t always beautiful,"" the john waters
             movie warns me. and yet,
the imagination needs just a little nudge
             to believe garbage beautiful, or
to believe in something more important
             than the body. i know there is
a world beyond this one, so i’m not
             scared to die making this one
freer. making myself believe
             that beautiful means teeth,
and a little bit of pain.
i choose to see nothing more beautiful
             than the new world that catches
the light, shimmering in the blood
             leaping from a billionaire’s
throat. every drowned master a prelude
             to a drowned structure.
i’m making myself eros. i’m steeling
             myself for the power shift.
i’m stealing my time back from every
             one. i’m sharpening my words.
i’m sharpening what blades i can afford
             on a teacher’s salary.
bite hard. wherever we go,
             i hope i meet you there.