Shamila Ladak


mothers and sons, fathers and sons,
brothers and sisters, all striving to find peace within zeros and ones.
rarely do I find myself in this abysmal situation
rarely do I wish to find myself in one
the wrinkles on my father’s olive skin concealed by the midnight sun
the warmth in my mother’s pearl grey globes intact with her remedies
the mind ordaining me to manifest my jingoism
the heart altercating my mind with every beat.

my fragile shrunken body,
negotiating its old masculine hegemony
waiting to be used as an artefact
cold and still; cold and still
with its faint heart in motion
eighteen and hollow for immeasurable love to fill
is this really free will?

the beat slows down
as my breath turns shallow,
a stream of echoes
my mind recollects,
it is all white around me,
now it is all crimson around me,
white again,
crimson again,
white again,
Ma in her soft black suit,
Abba dressed up in gratification and honor,
in a mahogany dress she looked surreal,
white again,
crimson again,
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