Becoming Captive: Poetry by Max Kapur

A Trio of Poems



With what words can

I denote you


that become you as

my captive you,


my object you who awaits

semantic prescription?


You are my semiote

and I your flailing



I want you to be

what dust mote

I touch when

I reach for wood;


With what waters can

I enmoat you,


that you would drink of

me only for greater thirst?



Your Brain on Failure

Everymorning comes breakfast spoon to mouthhomes:

early, for prostate that unabates;

cornflakes, for fallow body that unsates.

Today’s communion, a eulogy for seed felled among thorns.


Sun meets horizon to indenture the second responders,

to confound we who smile for you who are on camera,

to lose us surely one more subhorizontal night.




When I was little, in Hong Kong,she whispers,

I used to say I was a knot expert.

Theyd bring me pieces of string,

or shoelaces, and I would untangle them.


And when I told my parentsfriends, they laughed at me:

A not expert? Whats that for?’”


She traces the veins up my wrist, massages the base of my palm.

I was so funny back then.

Max Kapur is Seattle: a quarter Indian and in love with coffee. He is currently an undergrad at USC studying jazz piano and Korean. His work lives at


Poems curated by FORTH poetry editors.

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