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Kaveh Akbar founded and edits Divedapper.

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Kaveh Akbar

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The word “crisp” travels from the back
of your mouth to the front as you say it. Crisp. Stranger
than that, even—that people put their genitals

in each others’ mouths to demonstrate
affection. In a parallel dimension, you
have a lover’s genitals on your tongue

right now this second, and while they’re there
you are mouthing the word “crisp” and it is hunting
through their body for a way out, making

them want to put your genitals into their mouth
in sincere gratitude. Meanwhile the you who is here is here
because plants can turn light from a star

ninety-three million miles away into sugar and because
your grandparents loved each other. Cosmically,
all of humanity is equivalent to an uncontacted tribe

in the Amazon. Your children will experience more digital
trees than real ones. It’s hard to keep from thinking
about how often you see someone for the last time—

a particularly beautiful teacher, a strong-jawed stranger
behind a steering wheel, the skinny woman
in tights reading a spy novel at the bar. More welcome

are thoughts about how to make your father smile, ways
your children compare favorably
to their peers, tricks to get Malbec out

from the carpet. Better to think about how the nitrogen
in the soil that delivered the vine was once star
dust, how the sugar in the fruit came

from sunlight, how the hand that spilled the wine
had before drawn it to your lips, how the glass tilted
until the sweet crisp violet whirled out.

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