Shishir 2023 Poems - Fatima Ijaz


Letter from America
By Fatima Ijaz


non-existent like kafoori* sparrows.
the branch is still aquiver from where she once perched
i was taken by blankness once;
all moon-white and god.
what is behind your face; do you remember me
even by name?
have you kissed the sun; and disappeared?
i take the train everyday
it’s a routine sort of america
all night I dreamt of sparrows and angels
caught in a dance, they finally fell to the floor in broken prismatic snow
icatch the 127 that takes me home
sometimes it feels like I’m always moving.

*Kafoori: Camphor


The terrible blue

Affinity of scare-crow
trouble kangaroos,
the bartender is angry, I think.
I didn’t order another
drink after Forbidden Drive
Vodka. Her maddened energy
is filling the air with poison –
or is it me imagining?
Is she my other, dressed in
blue, that terribly true
mirror-like cord-less phone –
carries you far –
I’m thirteen, it’s the first time
I eavesdrop on lovers’ talk.
The phone just struck
their number.
I wasn’t expecting it
or the thunder, that night
I swore thirteen was alright
so I listened on
causing no trouble.
I’m sorry, bartender
I’m out of money,
that’s all. For what
wouldn’t I give
for another drink?


Karachi poet Fatima Ijaz is currently pursuing her Masters in English at Rutgers University, USA. Her recent publication is “The Shade of Longing” (2021). Previously, she has taught English and Speech Communication at Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi. She has an English BA from York University, TO and an MA in English Linguistics from Eastern Michigan University, USA. Her poetry and short stories have been published in numerous magazines including Kyoto Journal, The Aleph Review, The Write Launch, Tales from Karachi, Tillism, Rigorous, Azure and The Bombay Review. Her memoir was longlisted by the Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize in December 2022. She writes on literature in Naya Daur, The Friday Times and Dawn.


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