Cover Photo: An illustration by Sirin Thada of men, each a bright color, in different forms of movement, overlapping and reaching out toward each other.
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

the faggotry

the ones you call those frickin’ Ayrabs, the ones / who hold hands with / kiss cheeks with those they call / habibi & isn’t every habibi is a mis/-translation of? habibi

caught with another man ’s spit caressing a wind that came from inside you, the way a cavern holds & eventually be comes

its echo, is not the faggotry of fagging in velvet or trans -parent everything, which is not dissimilar to the faggo see right
through me, the accidental faggot try of wanting another man’s branch

& swell behind & in side of you, while watching The Descent Freaky
Fridayexchange in spite ofdissimilar to, it is not the stiff fening faggotry of being choked from

behind, acci dental, by another left breathless, or the faggot -try of dreaming of straight -banged, blue -haired white boys, who scream out lung fulls of tar, beneath a floridian sun

-light, or the faggo try of the first love’s close -t, or the second love’s butt -grab, or the third who made too much sense, or the fourth who made

the least, or the fifth who cut right through you, nor is it the hot -blooded, lung -puncturing, garlic -breathed homo -sexuality of falling in heart -eyes with every Ayrab

CapitalLLoveOfYourLife, except for & especially the ones you call thosewho hold hands with kiss cheeks with those they call habibi & isn’t every habibi is a mis -translation of? habibi

between—habibi the smoke -song, the soil’s quiet thirsting—there is an east of the east named somewheresomewhered beyond our selves, or abandon -ment, apast, past

a past where our fathers were not our fathers, or blood -letters, beyond that some where, I promise there is language, caus ality, frame work of dis tance & lack there

-of between us, how we look into each other & see & See eternity & i know it from your darling hands, palms arced into two swans kissing & end less, habib—

the ways i’d die for all of you, dove -eyed & glass -less, is most definitely the faggotry of every love language writ -ten in a blood that, when set on fire, does not burn

George Abraham (they/he) is a Palestinian American poet from Jacksonville, FL. They are the author of the debut poetry collection Birthright (Button Poetry), a board member for the Radius of Arab American Writers, and a recipient of fellowships from Kundiman and The Boston Foundation. Their poetry and essays have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, West Branch, Mizna, and elsewhere. He is based in Somerville, MA, where he is a Bioengineering PhD candidate at Harvard University, and teaches in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College.