An Interview with my Ancestor: Prose Poetry

“Do you write? Do you read? Do you dream?”

She laughs, a sound of broken trinkets and obituary telegraphs. Her dimples are poems of love veiled in her mother’s silk sarees and golden bangles, swindling in ribbons and wedding presents. Her fingers have embroidered lotuses instead of nails, feet dangling above water in periwinkle days. The vein of her heart is tangled in Begum Rokeya’s dream. But she says, “Child, to dream is to barter your existence with society and from that moment, all you try to do is cheat.”

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Five More Minutes, Mama: Prose Poetry

Five more minutes, Mama, I am caught in a happy dream.
Five more minutes, Mama,  I am telling the moon stories of comfort in your old dupattas and warmth in your vegetable soup.
Five more minutes, Mama, I am building a pillow fort of your childhood dreams.
Five more minutes, Mama, the jungle of my dreams has marigold smiles and a baby shampoo advertisement that says, “no more tears leaking moonlight.” You will like it here, Mama.

Hey, Mama, if you are happy in a dream, does that count?

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Mourning Idealism: Prose Poetry

Nothing prepares you for the ache of mourning. I am mourning my idealism today, trying to hold onto the ideals in a quicksand hug while reality grapples me like an inseparable birthmark. The trajectory of growing up is learning how to make a coral museum of grief inside the wormholes of your heart. Unable to build a Lego bridge where your idealism kisses your reality, unable to write yourself a soft epilogue.

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The Witchcraft of Adulting: Prose Poetry

They didn’t tell me growing up was nurturing houseplants of responsibilities and often failing to water them because you are binge-watching a DVD of nostalgia on nights when loneliness sublets you it’s house. They didn’t tell me growing up was walking in circles in my room past midnight trying to remember the face of my imaginary friend. Dimming in my mind in slow motion like the night mode of my phone.

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Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?: Poetry

Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?

Tonight, the sky is the graffiti of stars, the salsa dancers seducing the manifolds of space,
Air, full of exclamation marks like conspiracy theories discussed in neon alleys over pawnshop cigarettes.
You see her, polaroids of wonders of the world in her eyes, casting long shadows on your wall visits you once in a while,
A fallen angel with a crooked halo and an ancient forest for a smile.

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But tell me, Why do you Love?: Poetry

But tell me, Why do you Love?

4.5 billion years from now, the Milky Way and Andromeda will intertwine in the Newtonian snow globe of fates,
The ‘survival of the fittest’ humanity shrinks into indivisibility, smolders into supernovas in outer space.
This four-letter word will exist, an irrational number in binary codes of continuity,
Because you and I are matter, uninterrupted and indestructible beyond infinity.

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Daughters of History: Poetry

Daughters of History

They said,

History is overcrowded with women who were harmonies,

Cadencing with the delicacy of vulnerable melodies.

Your ancestors were crystal chandeliers and exquisite geodes,

Fragility dribbling from edges and nodes.

 

She camouflaged under the spiral of books,

Caging the brutality and inequality in the lines of a notebook.

She told, girls possess the cells of storm and bravery,

Undefined valour, immeasurable kindness was their geometry.

(Anne Frank)

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