Memory & Desire
Walking on the autumnal streets of ruin, I turn around
& glimpse the burnt shadows of as-they-fall-stars.
I call to the wet wild winds, and they answer in hoots & desire.
Fragments of glittering sun sets, imprint on the dying leaves.
A severe majesty of red charcoal drawings on the embers of fire.
I trace the way your eyes look at me.
And there in the woods, are cast nets by fairies
Translucent dreams that bespoke of long-lasting.
An auburn house of memories that knocks at the lake,
And a winter’s moon, not yet awake.
Singular desire rousing the forest deep fire.
I trace the way my eyes look at you.
The night is full of futuristic omens
The candles are lit in this avant-garde fashion
The old wind blows out each of the wax-figurines,
Which were marking your exits and entrance.
The face of the sun is smeared with the curse
The season finally claims its vampiric heritage.
I trace your eyes with my eyes.
The roots of reason render the ravage obsolete
& the only smudge of red left is on my lips.
When the world dissolves, and I evolve into a rose,
I’d like you to dissect limb from petal, the stir from kettle
And tell me how often you thought of me, if at all.
I’d like to sing to the full blue moon and sing often,
Though the curse follows me straight home,
And I’m unable to press charges to the sky.
How often I’ve seen that dream in which I could fly.
Is the world then made of fools across the board?
Floating Memories, 3
The single candle takes to the water, dips, digresses
disenchants its way towards borders, circles the flame
burns like a blade, glows in the darkest of days,
I take a sip of coffee, and keep it aside in my mind
So I can play it back like music. The bitter almond,
The vanilla. The taste of tears.
Blind fingers touch your face, to remember the contours
of the dark. To etch into their minds, the labyrinth
Of water. To sift into the sands, and find missing pearls.
Then the ounce of moon, dipped in vodka
Stirred with a candle (notice the distaste)
The anxious stare of the woman
At an identity thrown at her.
She wears it all the same, like a discarded robe
It hides her intestines and sole.
It begins again, the ounce of vodka in the moon,
Stirring the candle flame dipped in water
The hurried glance of the woman
As she acts out her given script.
Sometimes she listlessly draws the moon
On an old insignificant-now card
The circle is not perfect. It bothers her.
She starts again.
Sometimes she picks up her pen and
Stares into the unknown. It is a glance
Out her window. The only significant moment
Of the night. As she gazes out at the street
The scent of no-name flowers trace her eyes.
She thinks of what had happened that night.
The vodka pouring into the moon, the drawing
Growing blurry and wet, the edges all torn.
She had noticed the merciless stare of a man
Who gave a different name to the night.
Let’s begin again. The vodka interfered
With the moon that night, and would not
Let her draw in peace. There was the incessant
Humming of a bad breath which tuned out the
Drink. The drunken stare of a man bothered
As the night let the moon wander alone on the street,
What a difference from scene 1. When the irritant
Was as yet unnamed. Scene 2 was a little vague.
As if meaning had become complex just by being.
The stairs led to a room where dogs barked. This detail
Bled onto the scene when she re-opened her drawing
She easily marked as ‘Circle.’ Philosophy classrooms
Dictated that no circle was perfect.
It was a late hour, the circling moon had found
Its way to vodka stairs and ran across the room,
Now flooded. The man and woman were trying
To swim but it seemed they were floating. The frantic
Eyes of the woman tried to reach out to the man.
But he was drowning in vodka, his hands were missing.
The water had stolen his soul. A dark night.
Something of the night lingered into the moon. The
Vodka was duality. One half displayed an evil talisman,
The other a half woman, half moon. Desperate incantations
Ran in no-name flowers. The scatter was real. The dogs barked
In upstair rooms.
When the dogs entered the room, the vodka was on the table.
In the spill of what followed, there was an uncanny acceptance.
The woman belonged to the aristocracy, but on this night
She was with this man, alone. The dogs barked. The vodka spilled.
The moon followed. Then the trees. Then the entire night
Toppled into the room. The remains of the man and woman
Were never found.
Vodka. Interference. Radio moon. A woman sick at
Heart, a hurting room. The man perfectly still. The man
Has eyes of marbles and lips of doom. Moon in the glass,
Instead. Served on ice. Carried along like a bag of deceit
In an artificial world.
Fatima Ijaz is based in Karachi, Pakistan and teaches English Composition and Speech Communication at IBA. She is a contributing editor at a literary publication – Pandemonium Journal. She graduated in English from Hartwick College, NY and York University, Toronto. She holds an MA in English Linguistics from Eastern Michigan University, MI. She won first prize at the Mclaughlin Poetry Contest in Toronto (2007). Her poetry and prose have been published in or are forthcoming in isacoustic, New Asian Writing, Kitaab, Rigorous, Zau, Praxis, The Write Launch, Red Fez, Whirlwind, Naya Daur, Poetica Review, Bombay Review and Aleph Review amongst others.