Photo of

M. A. ISTVAN JR., although a university professor, actually makes most of his money now as a method translator of AAVE. In light of his extreme efforts to ensure sincere and emotionally expressive translation, Jet Magazine has in fact dubbed him the Daniel-Day-Lewis of his craft. For instance, he might sip Tempranillo from a Burgundy glass when translating to Standard English and swig Boone’s Farms from a brown-bagged bottle when translating the other way.


Trigger Warning

Trying to play it cool, trying to play
hard-to-get, waiting excruciating days
before replying to emails, worried
that her delays are not excruciating
for her, doubtful about your efforts
since she is an observant Muslim,
never even mentioning romance—

until one morning, after two weeks
of her not responding to the email
where you shared your poetry,
you have your phone in hand
just as she types “Did you give me
your poetry to make me fall in love?”
and you without thinking type “Yes.”

Leave a Reply