Fatima Ijaz, is currently teaching English and Speech Communication at Institute of Business Administration, Karachi. She is an English graduate from Hartwick College, N.Y and York University, Toronto. She also holds a Master in English Linguistics from Eastern Michigan University. She won first prize at the Mclaughlin Poetry Contest in Toronto, 2007. Her work was featured in a poetry and art collaboration for #NomeansNo at the Music Mela, Islamabad’18 and at Art Baithak, Karachi University in March 2019. Her work has been published in Zau, Red Fez, Rigorous, The Write Launch, Abramelin, Della Donna, Whirlwind, These Fragile Lilacs, Writer’s Asylum and Praxis magazine.
Not too long ago, I the hated demon
The averse punchline in the grim
used to walk the streets of urban cities
and wash away the sins of men and women.
Since then, it has been a sudden demise
And I have fallen from my pedestal –
No longer alive.
So, “How am looking?” is what I ask you
Is it fair to ask you this now –
Now that it’s all over?
‘Love me or hate me’ you know you can’t
Escape me. I reach your roots like spider-veins
And I beguile your senses…
An after-death exquisite adventure.
But wasn’t it always like that with me?
An adventure with a ‘one women army’
My amazonion warriors, following me
The way indian dancers follow their lead dancer.
I search for an answer now, please do answer
“How am looking?” So from the vintage view of the
Outsider, please do tell,
And ignite the bell
Of Your Lord’s strange and strong mercy
“How am Looking?” beyond all veils
of life and death?
A stapled blankness,
A neon sign that reads in bold:
Do not interfere.
When she was alone
She thought often of how trains
Outgrew silences, the locomotive start
Of engines, fires, rains –
Compare this to the still blackness of a quiet
She ran over sentence after sentence of letters of longing
But it all came to the same conclusion:
Do not interfere.
When she was a little girl
she used to count the grass blades
And the innumerability of silence still stung.
I know, she thought to herself, I know,
Like the song in the shade under an eagle’s wing.
However, she must confess, she does not know
How, or what if, or why.
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