Small Nightmares I Dream In A Foreign Country

It was a nightmare.
I cooked without
a dozen jars of masalas — no
turmeric, tamarind, thyme on my tongue—
the kitchen smelled
nothing like my Dadi’s.

It was small
Ammi said:
the salt of a relationship
is distance
and told me to not come back home.

It was a nightmare.
I lost
my overwhelming childish excitement
about rain and forgot the Sindhi
children’s rhyme my sisters used to sing
asking for more rain from Allah.

It was small
I thanked the scissors,
cut the thread I had woven between continents,
families, the uneven fingers of life
and slept with it under my pillow.

It was a nightmare.
I danced
in a room wearing someone else’s dreams
as jewellery,
twirling in a haze
like the dervishes at Qalandar’s dargah.

It was small
I wrapped myself in an ajrak,
wore my chera, slipped into my khussay
and spoke Sindhi to a room
of people who stared blankly at me,
to another room
of people who wanted to touch everything
and lastly, to an empty room.

It was a small nightmare.
I was in a foreign country, the cavity called
home ached in my mouth, I twisted
the purple and threw it away in the sea.

My Girls & I

& yes i know that stray dogs enter the compound in the dark and sit on the swing & yes i have seen their oblong eyes juiced in meditative silence & yes sometimes i join them

follow the moon

maybe i wake and feel the wind move through my body
/ but she reminds me what love lives in this skin, / says stay. says stay anyways.

If, and Longer

Balled below my tongue
like a seed
I won’t plant, afraid to surrender
the dream