Breath & Its Fetters

Finger the sun-beaten braille
Swarming the crusts of my skin;

Leafing through the pages,
Will you spread your pall
As a timid autumn night?

When I sigh at sleep’s contours,
Will you coil at my feet?
Do your palms expand
As I look the other way?

Sat cross-legged,
Hands diving in between my thighs,
Digging at inaction;
Only to number the bridges,
Never to amble beyond.
Legs tighten.
Your grip firming at my collar bones.

Walk away,
I say with a broad smile.

Different, how?
From crescent-eyed villagers greeting
Rockets with open arms,
And even wider chests .

Belted to your swelling ribs;
Did we gallop past the stable
To grope at thin air?

Are we there yet?
To the blunt cusp of your restive walls,
Where you hug my lungs at ransom?

Photograph: Abdullah Al Mahmud


Hermit to Himself

Sohail's Jesus

Moss carpeting the floor

“We are all alone”

Festering at the thicks of cloth;
In murder, a canopy of knives garlanded
to the lamb;

“It teases you”

Smoke wafting through the air,
punching at nostrils,
intones the riddle of
Hope crucified in his own square.

“Makes you believe”

The unconfessed did not wash their eyes
while his head lifted:

“Comfort, have you come for me?”

“Earth will you not loose?”

Mother seemed to hiss

As her crevices murmured:

“No, not today.”

Photograph: Sohail Anwar

Blue-Eyed Son


The hammers rock us out of our slumbers
Bodies writhe, undulating in numbers

Glistened chests throb, not to their veins
Riddled with teardrops, once in their chains

The metals ring of laughter asunder
Streets blush yellow, as the cries roar thunder

I will say “fight”, and I will call “peace”
The strings will keep tight, if only for the need

Rusted pillars reaching to the clouds,

The clouds, they lap one another
Putting forth that unfathomable staircase which pervades your sleep,

“The sky is open,” you are told,

“Why now, though?”
“When my tendons have ceased to pulse?


Photograph: Trond Sørås

Who Will Sleep On The Floor For Us?

Suffocation by Mr Mannequin

Gestating perfection
undoing sewn crevices.

Fissures mushroom
Into valleys of holed memory.

Suspended in speech,
Bulge to the rim–
Where they stop.

Films of pride
Circulate my shutters–
Chimeric snapshots of a broken time.

I wonder,
Why my Circadian paramour
abandons me still.

You want her to bellow
when you stalk your shadow across the edge,

But, those who bellow are triumphed by those who are deaf.

The sky is immobile–
at your dispense,

The funeral is well attended.
As always,
Kindness arrives the day after.