Aerial by Alycia Pirmohamed

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.

Alycia Pirmohamed

Alycia Pirmohamed is a Canadian-born poet living in Scotland, where she is a Ph.D. student in creative writing at the University of Edinburgh. Her work has recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in Gutter Magazine, The Poetry Book Society, Tupelo Quarterly, PRISM International, Third Coast Magazine and Prairie Schooner, and was selected for the 2018 edition of the Best New British and Irish Poets Anthology. 

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