Poem

STARTING MY DESCENT

After a bomb rips the baggage claim
I sprout wings running on the tarmac.
Single file khakis blurring smashed
Gold of mustard flowers. My legs

Collapse. I roar over tips of Poplars, follow
The Jhelum upstream where Mother
Kneeling at the river’s source tears open
A pomegranate with bare hands. “Rubies

From my dowry stolen by the in-laws.”
Her dupatta undulates and she floats away
Reclined on the veil. I give chase, soaring
Above the Himalayas, depression fuming

The Pacific. I am the pallor of twilight
Starting my descent. A sign rises to greet me—
Gilded Cage For the Deranged.
“Wait,” a nurse says as I search for Mother,

“Why aren’t you already where you’re going?”

by Rafiq Kathwari, a guest writer at 3 Quarks Daily.

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