Obeisance

afghanistan-2

For every victory pinned to a picturesque massacre, there should be fingers clasped around indigo goblets that are overflowing with spilled blood laced with ink.

i.

A toast to the departed, the façade of the living, a special tribute to decades of swollen remains that were never salvaged and a moment of silence for the despair that is never desperate enough.

ii.

Half-hearted condolences are offered to a mother as she rummages through crimson speckled pockets looking for treasure buried under manic violence. Holds out a shaking palm adorned with silver to a girl with braided hair paralyzed from shock in the waiting room. The answer would have been yes.

iii.

Turn the corner. Airlift shameless triumph across the Atlantic. The tilt of gunshot wound in shoulder blades once wrapped in pashmina is memento from war. Decorate the marketplace with prosthetics- it is the only thing that sells these days. It’s in demand, like Winter.

iv.

Bladed womb overflows with stillness; sunlight baptizes her departure. Lullaby of gunfire knifes dusk, wide-eyed. Smoke lingers in aftermath, visits riverbank till night arrives. The silhouette seen from the balcony will haunt me.

v.

This is the castration of laughter. Hollow, like the space between bruised thighs beating to someone else’s desire. Tomorrow I will recite surat fatiha over ornament of burial shroud. Practice with no electricity, unclench fists and bleach the wrists of ancestors.

vi.

No melody, no mercy, no mantra. This is forgotten history. There is always time for a re-write with master’s tools. Scribble out invasion with red; replace it with ‘h-e-l-p.’

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Kabul…it’s like trying to beg lung of an exiled silence. I want a funeral for the displaced that you crowned with guilt. I want Allah for the ones who stayed.

 

 

-M.H is an aspiring Pakistani writer. Currently, she is working for the election commission in Afghanistan.

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