fargo tbakhi

god is the lottery


i spend money like it’s bleeding from my chest         whole skin is a

luxury we can’t afford

tell the sidewalk where you hid that dime      inside             i was

poor i was happy i was

ashamed and iused to tell people i was poor like it was        a

badge of honor and i

held back tears at the financial aid desk and my        body is held

together by duct tape and grit

my body is a hand me down and i      found my mom crying in the

bathroom like

she was lost in prayer like the bathroom floor           was the face

of god


and god is the lottery               and god is not having to worry

about food and god is not

taking the bus to school and god is                 buying whatever i

want god is            full price

brand new shoes and god                    is the inside of your mouth

god is                  wings

(oh the things i could do if i could just           grow some fucking


hands in my pockets full of dead         sweat in my mouth tastes


empty bellies and god is         hot knife and a swagger in your step

like your

body never learned to make itself shrink because                  poor

means you learn to save space-

wholeness is a luxury we can’t afford

god is soup.

god is delirium in a worn out dress god         found me in the

goodwill changing room

women’s shirt with                 ruffles, makes me pretty boy finding

my way out feeling                 my way out

god speaks and lettuce spills out of her teeth into your lap-

hey there’s dinner, thanks god-

heat flash stubborn miracle on the soles of my feet   blanketed in

the face of god, grubby god, tender little beautiful god

and god is the lottery and       god is the lottery and god is

the lottery

and god is my             ticket out


fargo tbakhi is a palestinian american performer and writer in phoenix, arizona. his work has been published in spy kids review, maudlin house, and ghost city review. he is a middle and high school speech coach, the producer and host of the encyclopedia show az, and tweets @youknowfargo.


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