Three Poems | by Iskandar Haggarty

dream sequence I

these nightmares don’t behave as they used to / sometimes they get up and walk around the room / sometimes they stretch out, do little jumping jacks in the corner / sometimes they ask politely to use the restroom // on sundays they wake up adjacent / kiss the cheek/ slip downstairs and make themselves coffee. sometimes, sadness as breath / sadness as jackals / smiling with teeth like soil / walking upright / hunting with spears like men / telling their children lullabies at nighttime / and losing sleep over rent.




dream sequence II

my hand as a / permutation; different ways a sandcastle / crumbles at high tide. on stormy / nights no sorry on nights / light with rain / tidal-soft / i ask my father if he’s ever had recurring / dreams. when i was / younger / like me yes like you / my dreams were blood-soaked / he said. i’d wake / slip out of my sleeping form / an art exhibit of shotguns hanging like / holy lights and it is Tết and i am / doe-eyed and no one is dead yet. we / dance and bloom like / hoa đào and the colors are bright / square-shaped like soil / long like the moon // my antlers shed their velvet / my hooves slip on the wet cobblestones / a single shot rings out crisp / a mosaic of shells / in fragments on the shore. my heart / beats entirely out of its cage. my hand no longer eats / itself. the sandcastle is different this / time.




to pit a date

morning. forcing fingers into the dining room. slow. the island a knife. careful incisions beneath the ribs. the heat of the day. it shouldn’t feel like this in october. hold the skin. feel the bones beneath. hold the bones. feel the sand beneath. hold the sand. the way it sinks. press down. slice lengthwise with firm wrists. remove the pit. slow. careful not to jostle the organs. the island a knife. the dining room with hands that are not hers. your face linear but not angular. light.



Iskandar Haggarty is the EIC at Firefly Magazine and a Best of the Net nominated poet. His poetry is featured / forthcoming at Moonchild Magazine and the Stockholm Review of Literature.