—Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year, 2013
If self’s the man, she’s the wife
who follows, shadow-faithful
through your twilight haunts
and midnight jaunts, who knows
your revels and your despair,
your zits and your stomach pits.
Lover, confessor, and confidante,
how often you wish you could
be rid of her, the little wench,
slough her off like dead skin.
Sometimes she’ll sneak away
to rattle-tattle about town
and let her loose tongue wag
in a viral-fevered delirium.
But you take her back anyway.
She’s the dark that sags beneath
your bloodshot eyes, that strains
the smile on your profile pics.
She’s the past you can’t deny,
the fellow sufferer, the portrait
in the attic that you become.
—from Rattle #48, Summer 2015
Nausheen Eusuf: “I’m doing a PhD in English, and some of my best poems have come out of the arcane stuff I read for comps. But I’m always on the prowl for poems, and this one came about after hearing a friend complain about the endless selfies people post on social media.”