105: Personal Effects by Solmaz Sharif

I place a photograph of my uncle on my computer desktop, which means I learn to ignore it. He stands by a tank, helmet tilting to his right, bootlaces tightened as if stitching together a wound. Alive the hand brings up a cigarette we won’t see him taste. Last night I smoked one on the steps outside my barn apartment. A promise I broke myself. He promised himself he wouldn’t and did. I smell my fingers and I am smelling his. Hands of smoke and gunpowder. Hands that promised they wouldn’t, but did.


The author’s work can be found in the volume, Look: Poems.

Think about how the poem made you feel. Do you have heroes in your family you feel destined to live up to? What are the promises you’ve made to yourself that you haven’t been able to make good on yet?

May you live out another beautiful poem in the collection of your life today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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