Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Three Poems by Sheikha A.


I would be walking on burning coals;

I could offer abnegation,
a knife with it

and tell you to begin cutting
for penance

for having walked away first
before you

or I could offer poetry,
the way to my mysteries once again

and my words heal your brokenness

while I continue to scatter
while you continue to lament

until there are more pieces of me
than (have had made of) you

and your detecting sight
forgets its patriarchal pedantic

instructions to remind me
the only way to clean you
from my vessel

is sinking deeper than where water ends;

allowing you regnant
over my religion gone awry,

turning into:

that less-picked book on your shelf,

the unattractive oxidization on your ring,

the miscreant scent on your skin.


I have already paced the window thrice
like a superstitious ritual, since most of you
have appeared to me through windows; or was
it that you stood at the door, and I looked in
all the wrong places -- I think I should write
about how I've been tucking away neatly
all the items in my drawers, cupboards, cabinets
and how I remember the way you picked up scents
on me, and your fingers judging softness of skin;
I should write, at least, to end my writing
that writes about you indefinitely without pause
and find the right stones to help me build a dam
against the fracas of words, reminding myself
of your eloquence and impatience with hesitations;
maybe, instead, I should stand by a mirror
to watch the way my pen slants on paper
and the way my hand poises, knowing about
your penchant for elegance; I must practice
more, my words must be less of a hustle,
since as keenly as your ears would lean
towards me, your eyes never missed a note;

right now, the window stands
like a perfect upright rectangle, the night sky
staring through, like your deep-black eyes,
the mirror watching me from the other end,
and I standing at this point again -- trapped
between your gaze and my precarious soul;

I select all and press delete.


It was a moment within a moment

kind of a moment, when I didn't know,

couldn't know which set of life
to look (through) into;

crossroads aren't made
of cement and asphalt,

they come like flesh,

many in number,
and the road just winds

out like it doesn't know
the purpose of its construct

and the seed you willfully
throw away after having
broken it

starts to grow the type
of flowers

of the kind of colors
that you can never be,

and no amount of water can revive
the eyes that perished,

and no proximity of contact can decrypt
the meaning of knowing.

Sheikha A. hails from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates and is the author of a short poetry collection titled, Spaced (Hammer and Anvil Books, 2013) available on kindle.  Her work appears in over 40 literary zines/journals/magazines such as Red Fez, The Muse, Ygdrasil, A New Ulster, Pyrokinection, Mad Swirl, Carcinogenic Poetry, ken*again, American Diversity Report to name a few, and several anthologies by Silver Birch Press.  Her recent publications have been in Switch [the Difference] anthology by Kind of a Hurricane Press and Twenty Seven Signs -- Poetry Anthology by Lady Chaos Press.

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