Bookmark Poems

Austin Islam


do you know the feeling
of life slipping through your fingers
i cannot be idle
like a grain of sand
so i will not slip through you
hopefully this is not a problem
as much as it is
one more option
i have felt you approaching
the tick of the second hand
becoming syncopated
which i’ve chosen to notice
focus on and then accept
as a good omen
the following day is here
the wind is picking up
whistling one of the best tunes
i can remember ever hearing


friends in a prayer circle
sneakers in a puddle of fear
will they ever recover from
indelible despair i felt
in the houston sky

boiling like a crawdad
coronas round my head
when it revisits
the evening of the first snow
i long for a livestream

get closer to me
around the corner i know
you’re upstairs falling asleep
basement empty all
set up for the next day

if i want what you have
so badly why don’t i
give it to myself
peel a grapefruit
then peel it again


what she sees in me
reflected in tomato soup
not blood but feel like
anything could happen tonight

next year is one more
lived through a tumble
same as all our friends
near to each other’s heads

two minute ride
string section in the corner
dancing to a cover of
‘i love this bar’
Austin Islam is a line cook in Philadelphia. If he can't have you, he don't want nobody, baby.