The Hidden Glossary of Solace

Tarfia Faizullah

after Lucretius

(i. First waking)

to learn that each of your fingers
can be swallowed by mist
but remain intact, and that

you can flex the calves
allowing you to pedal
far from

(ii. first happiness)

the receding figure of your father
the summer you learned
to ride that old blue bike before

(iii. first pulse)

the silken emancipation
of a handkerchief
from the mystery of your grandfather’s

pocket, the handful
of invisible everything—
you tell your love it is OK to feel

(iv. first mercy)

petals of musk mallow sedating
the wind into momentary

(v. first love)

and first, love,
and first, the moment you caught
a glimpse of yourself standing

in the long unending plane
of a tinted window—
and first, skin, skin, skin,

torso, teeth, wrist,
the birds of air, pierced to heart

(vi. first beginnings)

cannot be distinguished by the eye—

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