2020 Open Call , Poems - Ilma Qureshi


Wild skies

By Ilma Qureshi


this sunlight
golden shadows
the fire in my soul


i trace my lips
in the honey-colored figure on the wall


dense, intense
wild mornings
sleep hanging onto eyelashes
of most men


and a woman, with soft breasts,
tosseson a bed
while in her dream,
she dances in a tulip field
kisses a rose

and turns to a cloud
her red sari, clings to her waist and
thick hair coversher bare neck

the whiff of plums and mangoes
mixing with monsoon


somewhere far
a young boy
dreams of being a firefly
luminous, electric, and utterly free


the goat rhymes
in a language, only known to goat-folks
while fire crackles
in houses
where men turn to tasks
more important, than dreams


white shirts, neat hair-parted and gelled
they gulp down tea
naan and chickpea curries
hustling to meet life, in its mouth
while the dew
on bright green blades
is still drunk with slumber


trees gaze at wild greens
as scuttling cats
sniff for scraps of food
and wild berries
and the sky
compete for color



Ilma Qureshi is studying for a doctorate in Persian poetics, Sufism, and Comparative Literature at University of Virginia. Her work has been published in literary journals such as Tafheem, Tareekh-e-Adab-e-Urdu, ActiveMuse and Audio Times.


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