Aerial by Alycia Pirmohamed

Jun 27, 2018

In this dream, I fly over
a canyon

filled with faces.
I am guided by a garland of

my mother’s voice, the slip
and echo

of contralto, a stammer
in the low

height of the troposphere.
It weaves water into silk

and silk into saree,
and in this dream, I become a wren

with pleated feathers, a songbird-
daughter eating sweets.

How many of those faces
are my own?

How many daughters eating jelabi,
how many

canyons filled with versions of selves
that I have shed

and shed and even killed?
I am shaped

like my country,
but only one of them.

I am shaped like loss.
I wake up

not as the bird,
but as the canyon.

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