‘Off-Road’ & ‘/sānt/’ by Onastasia Youssef

sc june 18


This isn’t how it’s supposed to go –

– please wait, rerouting 

But like the engine of a car
that’s sped up too fast,
– wheels crying, smoke flying –
my heart raced ahead of me

and ran off with your bright eyes
and boisterous laugh
and left me here –

– lane closed, rerouting 

behind me with nothing but
my common sense
and the word “please”
on repeat like an Amr Diab CD
Stuck inside your worn-out
Jeep Patriot’s old player,

– rerouting

just hoping your road map
gets you where you need to go
and that I won’t
lose sight of my own track


The edge of his agpeya is beginning
to curl after years of daily use
like the worn out knees
on his favorite pair of jeans
faded beneath the blue
of his favorite argyle sweater,

and his smile is starting
to look younger by the
minute as if he’d stuck his hand
in Jesus’ side
and caught a glimpse of heaven
that he can’t stop thinking about,

completely present
in that minute of silence

two birds pass by his bowed head,
a blue sky a halo around
one of heaven’s sons