The Ultimate Task Master – Sidrah Zubair

The Ultimate Task Master

I am a stupid prawn except I am not really stupid
but neither am I really hot you know the kind of hot that makes
you want to smash your toes with a hammerhead shark on purpose

or makes you want to swallow banyan trees until your intestines
say proceed with caution, please! I am a prawn without a tail
I cannot swim I drown in piles of hemp seeds I am prawn

with fire brown eyes and dodo brain I break umbrellas inside man-grottos
smelling cigarettes and Tom Ford I cannot afford my own habits
doesn’t that seem a bit ironic? I hate on David Foster Wallace

gleefully I fill ears with shit-hot discourse that tastes like purring
overnight oats soaked in acacia honey and blueberries so it is
slightly inedible but looks good from afar maybe 30 feet away

close friends forget to text me back but maybe the problem isn’t me!
maybe the problem is that my prawn is overwhelmingly prawn maybe
the problem is that I always carry a canvas bag full of stinky dxy orbitals

that want to choke throats and throw tantrums in uncomfortable situations
maybe the issue is that I am missing a z-axis which meanders into brains
to find out exactly what people think of me neurotic a solid 7 hairy ugh her again

I am not the ultimate task master I cannot compete with time my clock
visits me in my sleep red-pecking at heart like a neanderthal and I wake
with psoriatic itch I am prawn dreadfully in love but mostly toopuss to navigate

through it maybe the problem is that hopelessness is brothers with pity
and I have not acknowledged it because maybe I am also hopeless prawn
I am wasteman prawn I eat 55 gsm paper for snacks and die every night repeatedly

Sidrah Zubair is a poet and English teacher living and working in London. She has previously been published in PERVERSE, bath magg and Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal among others.