“[While others try to keep alive…]” by Jahan Khajavi

Issue 24 / Winter 2021 / Special Issue: Pleasure

for Camilla Donghi 


While others try to keep alive their livers & their tongues,
we happily instead let sweets & alcohol rot ours;
while others try to keep unsoiled their fingers & their lungs,
we joyfully instead let tea & cigarettes spot ours.
While others, looking for themselves alone, go into caves
& forests, over deserts or up mountains, under waves;
we gaily stay where we’re aware of where we are, among
the others in this bar—all well aware the World’s not ours.



Jahan Khajavi, based in Rome, composes & performs “wildly amusing & explicit queer poetry” (Vogue). Recent poems appear in 14poems, Split Lip, Bæst, & the Foglifter anthology Home Is Where You Queer Your Heart. Khajavi is also currently collaborating with Brandon Menke on a series of queer cowboy poems, some of which appear in Columbia Journal and Denver Quarterly.

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