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Untitled by Saima Afreen

Is it enough to be human?
This frail? And this storm?
To hold death in each breath.
And yet dare to live!

To hold the world
in fingers that part seas
and the porcelain of all that lived,
its face broken after the machinery
came to a halt. The steel 
left to fill the mouths of grass

and peepal trees that claim the realm
mulched between the teeth
of a lizard. 
                                   Between chills and cold. A woman

stitching phool patti, red
drops colour the white fabric
to fill the house and continents
reeking of hospital smell, rust
of bones, the infected blood—
home to the ancestors that drift
with their dis-eases and disasters

but stop in this timeline to address
the pain through which we remember
them. The future blood awaits

ghost of a light that went down
with a star and a snowflake
to rest its head on a pin
that seals the white envelope
delivered to what transpired once
between the sky and the earth.

Phool patti - an Urdu word meaning a type of embroidery comprising leaves and tiny flowers


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