Letters To My Lover

To my love,
I will wait for you under the apple tree
in the dusk of twilight, when all the garden
will be sweet with the heady dew of evening
and the thrill of unspoken promises. There,
we will drink honeyed wine spilled
from my lips in the form of all the words I keep
in secret. They swirl inside me like new wine
flowing through my veins—
at once filling me with euphoria and a
trembling sort of heaviness. Let us frolic
in the garden, there,
like young gazelles leaping upon the hills
at the first blush of spring. Let us be
love-drunk through all the sultry hours
of the night,
for I know that all too soon,
the jealous dawn will rip you from my arms.
To my love, I will wait in breathless
anticipation for the dusk to make
its way to me once more.

Mea Culpa

Forgive me for worshipping
at the altar of your
indifference.

Forgive me, for I have
sinned
against my very self
in carving myself
before you

like a sacrifice, willing
my spilled blood to speak
the words that were
too deep

for a mere human
tongue to
utter.

But your lofty ideals were
nothing more
than
stone gods,

weren’t they?

Uncaring if the tears
that were spilled
behind closed
doors

led to redemption
or
ruin.

And so, I plead with you
to forgive me

for taking too long to
realize

that

I have

sinned.

Flower Gardens

“Please don’t ask me how I’m doing,
I’m feeling fragile
and need
a little
space.”

That’s okay, I will mind my own garden
today.

But please remember that I’m
just on the other side
of this broken
fence,

And when you’re ready, I will
be there to admire the
flowers growing in
yours.

Untamed

You glance my way and
a wild stampede of heartbeats
escapes from within the cage
of my ribs. I cannot seem
to corral my thoughts, they ride
freely upon the rushing horde—
do I hold your gaze or look away?
You laugh at something your
companion says, flashing straight
white teeth like the picket fence
around the garden in my
memories, where we picked sugar
snap peas during lazy summer
afternoons. I catch my breath
and look away, attempt to calm
the trembling of my limbs.

Sometimes You Just Have to Save Your Own Damn Self

Everyone has heard of the damsel in distress who was saved by a knight in shining armor, but why does no one tell the tale of the knight? Why don’t we know about the demons he had to overcome and the distress and failures he encountered along the way? What treacherous path was he forced upon that gave him no recourse but to become the hero of the story? Perhaps because these are the parts that are unromantic, and so, people are simply not interested in hearing about that part of the story.

Sometimes we wait so hard for someone to sweep into our life and save us that it takes far too long to realize that we are, in fact, responsible for saving our own damn selves. When does one start to realize that they are the knight in the story? That the plight of the princess is so unrealistic that it does little girls everywhere a grave injustice in teaching them to rely on someone to rescue them. That the line between good and bad is sometimes so blurry that you can’t distinguish one from the other. That people are not necessarily against you, they are simply for their own selves, and that indifference can cut deeper than a well-placed sword.

When does one start to understand who the true unsung hero of the story is?

Somewhere along the way, someone messed up a few details in recounting it altogether. The knight’s armor was not shining when he came to rescue the princess, it was dented and torn and covered in the dust of the journey he had to undertake.

Because a knight in shining armor is one who has never known the gruesome rigors of battle in the first place.

Inheritance — Qudsia Akhtar

Inheritance My cupped hands carry ancient lines of dark rooms dense with hookah, chai, and mad men who bang on the daff and chant ‘Oraat mard kor dosak mei lakae jai gee’. * My cupped hands are fed, wed to speculative phrases, bound in his interpretations, fluent with accusations. I am made of his rib yet I deserve his spit. Ancient lines of moonlit […]

via Inheritance — Qudsia Akhtar

Such a hauntingly beautiful poem, words cannot do it justice. Thank you for gifting us with it Qudsia.