i, woman, voltage. homeless apparition. partitioned fourways: rib, eve, apple, viper.
divined, designed. a wick, a wavering. routed enticements. the strand’s sigh & weave;
this black potentate of hair combed back to its cathedra. the way we learn to bend our
bodies into horned moons; wax fevered to rain from the eclipse of limbs.
a lake, a look. a lack that measures gravity’s coda. pilfered light & the bed-linen in its
own swollen glow. by the books, pear blossoms & a bottle aged out of its messes.
shuffled decks. the high priestess & her hangman. your swan-silk silhouette; that bird on
the branch rescinding in its own prosopopoeia. its new shape resizing your gaze.
peripheries as coupled lengths of graceful objections. distance & its plural guests. past,
lassoed, corium. i am announced by the wound in its hourly waiting. beyond this, tongue
dyed in urdu. a country. a compass. a conjuration.
to separate mourning from its moored is to know where the weather settles between its
memory & your mouth. at dawn, the body as a bowl in the palm of a fire. sheened grey of
rodents wincing loud these funeral tracts of green. ambuscade, orison. prayer as both
bare feet & the briar rose. as time in all of its noisy teeming.
it is always the gum-black drop of my eyebrows - afghan
hawkmoth crushed in vine charcoal a line pilfered from
forough's ash-limned chant then, the troubled wonder
of skin it's feathered undertows i can aura the guesswork
of their eyes - that blink & slur - is she one of them, theirs, they
hers? quarantine is a home papered in blue fiction, ripped
teeth of macadam night-sorrowed jasmines a leaf of vark
ironing it’s plenty over the barfi the khansama soaking almonds
for rice puddings. qabbani’s arbor between pewter & teakwood
memory is the worst disease say inshallah & the healing is
hot wax trying to fuse two apologies into a single bone. dear
ghalib, i too am the report of my own fracture. if she were alive
my grandmother would ask of me a dire grace would ask
i grow my hair to rival the dark knotted length of our Time
ask that the heart best be worn as an amulet wrapped
in a language i still can't read but sing more & more of
with each passing death