I D K     I S S U E     5


dujie tahat

Self-portrait with Golden Vase and Shadow

Every mountain has a name,
lots of names, probably.
Someone’s summit here. Somebody peed
on that rock there.
I reach out to find nothing
but fingertips coated in dust.
I’m a sucker
for good lighting.
Somewhere during the third mile, I realize
a mountaineer is just a walker at altitude.
I’m out here,
and I don’t know
a single mountain name.
Widow’s peak? Three sisters?
Dragon’s tail? The sun
dips into a valley—
a basin of wildflowers,
a wide gold vase
cut cleanly in half
by light. I am terrified
to find myself in nature
poems. A bright green
rock. A shot
of marigold. A blood
red tree. I am the only obvious body
alive. I am new to this
wildness. The golden hour heralds
blood in the sky. I am becoming
shadow. The only light on my face
comes from my phone—a mirror
of words—is how I know
a highway is close,
and I am steadied by the dun din.


Dujie Tahat is a Filipino-Jordanian immigrant living in Washington state. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in Sugar House ReviewNashville ReviewThe Southeast ReviewShenandoahHampden-Sydney Poetry ReviewThe American Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. Dujie has earned fellowships from the Richard Hugo House and Jack Straw Writing Program, serves as a poetry editor for Moss and Homology Lit, and cohosts The Poet Salon podcast. He got his start as a Seattle Poetry Slam Finalist, a collegiate grand slam champion, and Seattle Youth Speaks Grand Slam Champion, representing Seattle at HBO’s Brave New Voices.