Hanif Abdurraqib
There Are More Ways to Show Devotion

than we can ever know in this lifetime

once you traced a finger along the traffic

of webs in the distance stitched along

the top right corner of the window frame troubling


the sun its beams breaking apart at the web’s

center a single open eye flicking light along our open hands


the spider builds a new web every day bigger

each time in the left corner and then the right the spider once worked


above us while we slept & then in the morning the spider spun

itself into silent waiting or longing maybe invisible but for its hunger


which is another word for desire if desperation were off

the table & all that remained were two open arms waiting


for an agreeable heart but it is like me to imagine the spider

believes itself a failure what with its dance from corner to corner


its web eclipsing more & more of the woodwork with each passing day

& still nothing to show for it but another night of tearing down


& rebuilding & another morning of light stumbling into a window                   laughing

at the barren web which is a plea a moan a disaster of a lonely maze


I respect the patience of heartbreak how it waits

through the sweetness through the familiar beauty & then reveals itself


through what doesn’t return or never arrives at all & it is only you

& a series of blinking memories the moments you had once & believed


yourself able to touch again I think another word for this is hunger

I make the bed in the mornings now every day

it looks new again like no one has ever been in it.






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Hanif Abdurraqib
About the Author
 Hanif Abdurraqib is a writer from the east side of Columbus, Ohio. His work has appeared in the New York Times, MTV News, and other outlets. His books include the poetry collections The Crown Ain’t Worth Much and A Fortune for Your Disaster, and the nonfiction books They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, Go Ahead in the Rain, and A Little Devil in America.