Magazine article World Literature Today

Lahore Nocturne

Magazine article World Literature Today

Lahore Nocturne

Article excerpt

after Tarfia Faizullah

Here, by this tide of waste that

ribbons black across empty fields,

parched grass a girl gnaws

and fills in a straw sack. Here,

deep in my own body beating

with the stop, stop, stop,

of the commando's thrusting

gun - here, in this hue of dawn

slung outside the fruit shack,

acknowledge loss:

this bracelet of jasmine

a boy twirls on a broken arm,

this knot of ribbon a crow peels

from a pole in the shrine. This junk

I carry with me and a clipping

on drowned girls in the local paper.

City of ash, I return to you,

where time widens and thins,

where time, a sickness,

issues one day after another.

Teach me how to come back whole.

Give me a name for the surge

at the sight of every

broken thing. …

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