The past moves me / into previously / occupied bedrooms

Greyscale portrait of Oubah Osman against a blue background.

The past moves me
from closed closets
to sealed envelopes.

The past moves me
into previously
occupied bedrooms;

the small Tupperware
and fenced lawns
of the same tenant.

On Saturdays it tucks
me under a thumb.
On Sundays I lie

over the shoulder.
Sometimes I am cloth-like,
sometimes a pin

in a scarf. Sometimes
I am an empty space
myself, other times

fluid and spilling over
zippers, only to disappear
into a previous space.

I am an empty gesture
in time, located
behind consequence,

a movement into
a moment, a memory-
based thing,

a flag simmering
under a foreign
ray, a bookmark on a page.

Oubah Osman
Oubah Osman's chapbook, Hereditary Blue (2019), was shortlisted for the bpNichol Chapbook Award.

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