Saba Keramati

Ace of Cups

Tonight I asked the cards
whether we should have children
and pulled five strands
of water to hold. Will you
say yes? And I want to—
There are light bulbs to change
and holes to patch up.
This house is a rental. A small mouse
lives in the garage; we see it
in winters when we stand
out there to smoke.
There is a bouquet from February
sitting dry in its vase.
We had carrot cake for dinner
and rationalized it. It is such a pleasure,
being young
and irresponsible. I love to buy
too many pairs of shoes
for myself and you use the washing
machine as a hamper, and we love each other,
and this life too, and won’t it be so difficult
to pretend to be
the best versions of ourselves
all the time? But oh—
I want to make more of this life
with you and I know, sometimes
it feels we are running
out of time or else
we wonder about the ethics,
and what’s the point of it all,
anyway, but here the cards
are saying yes
in a Divine way. Yes
it will cost money, and yes
we will have to change
our ways, and yes, unfortunately,
tonight we are too tired
for sex, but yes,
I will say yes to you,
this life,
its water
and its hands.

Saba Keramati is a Chinese-Iranian writer from California. She is the author of Self-Mythology (University of Arkansas Press, 2024), selected by Patricia Smith for the Miller Williams Poetry Series. For more, please visit