Fridays in the Park (or how to make a boy holy)

Celebrating the release of his novel Son of Sin (Affirm Press, 2022), we're delighted to share Omar Sakr's poem "Fridays in the Park (or how to make a boy holy)" from Artist Profile issue 47, 2019.

& i can’t help but notice his hips first, bumbag slung low, as the train doors open
at Roxburgh Park. & i take in the trackies, his shadowed jaw, the slabs of
concrete arcing over him. & as Arab boys are timeless or else stuck in time,
 i breathe easier in their pause, their familiar inescapable heat. & later, i
spot him in the supermarket & know he knows i’m watching the way
a shepherd tends his flock or the way the ocean shivers when the moon slides
onto its back. & there is no significant body of water in the suburbs, nothing to
drown in yet we drown anyway. & i take him in the long grass of the park, i taste
him in the weeds, knees wet with mud, the night buzzing with the deaths
of mosquitoes. the wild silence after, mouths heavy with musk, is complete
& even the birds are mute with love in their nests. there is no song
 except our huffed breaths, the shuffle of grass bending beneath us, tickling skin,
the whole world an animal gone quiet. i asked my aunty about the supernatural
 hush i felt & she said the animals stand still in holy awe, they know the Day
of Judgment will fall on a Friday. & this is why neither of us made a sound, why
his fingers bruised my lips to crush the gasping as one of us disappeared
 into the other, why the park bristled with jungle knowledge, the kind with teeth,
why it felt like the end of the world & the beginning, o the beginning of another. 

This poem was originally published in Artist Profile, Issue 47, 2019. 

Son of Sin 
Affirm Press, 2022
RRP $29.99 

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