Yash Seyedbagheri


I poured tomorrow’s coffee at 10:51 am
before the sun hit its apex
while today tried to calm me in her azure gown
wearing a beatific smile and sipping a hot cocoa
but I poured seven scoops of French Roast
because I loved that jolt of newness
and tomorrow, a mobster with an easy, knowing smile
tore a piece of today’s azure gown
and put a hand on my shoulder

he promised me my name in The New Yorker
in voluptuous fonts
he absolutely promised me a name with more cachet, a name not my father’s
he definitely, unequivocally, promised me
chances to save children of drunk mothers and flaccid fathers
from golf carts swerving straight out of life
while I’d rise triumphant
an Adonis atop hills—- not a hot-tempered freak in history’s Trotskyite dustbin
but he never promised me happiness

I could never find a single smile
even though I begged, cajoled, even genuflected before him
while today looked on and everything else seemed to reject me
and she whispered
shun tomorrow, shun tomorrow, in a husky voice
her own smile stretched thin, her gown a little more torn
by then, she was already half-sunken between the trees
and tomorrow said smiles were overrated
tomorrow promised me a classic Chevy, a fedora
a chance to swing and swagger
to trip with grace and not like a three-dollar schmuck
he genuinely, authentically, unequivocally promised a townhouse with rows of stairs
a Winter Palace with my own guards, a place unlike my father’s
beside a soccer field where I walked round and round
and thought I was going somewhere
but really just went nowhere around a path filled with cigarette butts
fatherly lectures and Trojans

today always tried to come in so gently through my window
and follow me on my walks
I shunned her, although she still offered
once I found a golden leaf, a flame-colored one,
a shadow across a weary-dirt road
the sounds of the Eagles drifting from a house astride a hill
a moon drifting between clouds in an autumnal waltz
a still winter with cocoa-colored clouds and friendly flakes
she even offered a hillside home, where shadows put on smiling shows

once I almost said sorry to her
trying to form that word, so long dormant
but then tomorrow offered
another dream of a marching band following me, my name shouted in unison
and like every other day, I stared into his eyes, and
saw their hollowness, a mouth full of rotten teeth
I tried to protest, but tomorrow rubbed his hands
today wept in deep purple

and as I opened my mouth again

tomorrow ripped the last pieces of today
and hit us both