Sunrays, Starlights and Wildflowers



I remember the most insignificant details about you.

What you liked to eat, what your favorite chocolate was.
How you always wrote me letters and those pieces of worn papers with slightly messy handwriting expressed more of yourself than words ever could.
I remember the color of your room but I don’t know how many nights you’ve laid awake looking at those lilac walls.
I remember being engulfed in your hugs.
The way your embraces were warmer than the fleeting sunrays of summer,
But just as cozy as the sweet touch of melting popsicles on burning skin.
Holding you was like stumbling across a favorite blanket in the attic on a fine winter morning.
Familiar, refreshing.
And sickly tender every time!

There’s something so unfair about it, and I wish I could blame fate for it.
But weren’t we the ones who truly held the key to our destiny?
Yet we decided to let go of that key and locked ourselves in.
I wish I knocked on your door.
I wish you knocked on mine.
If you did, you’d see that the door was always open.
For you.
It’s been years, but I’ve never once closed my heart for you.
For we were to always fall back into each other’s orbits.
For you were never too far away.
Just close enough, to clash,
When the cosmos desires,
Like a stellar collision.
Isn’t that how the universe plays with us?
I hope I always see you in yellow petals, and you see me in wildflowers.
I hope,
We are in each other’s lives,
Maybe from a distance,
But inevitably there.
Irrespective of everything,
Always there.
Like the Sun is there for the Moon.
And even though we are just tiny stars with our feeble starlights in this big constellation Surrounded by chaos and crashes and nebulas and supernovas,
I hope you keep looking at my star with the same warmth in your eyes.



A Lover’s Speech

Islam Nashrif

A lover’s speech has no language
for the words spoken before the birth of light
On a balcony in Marie Stopes or the Chateau Broutel
are not those said at the same time
contemplating a dawn
On a stranded beach bordering the turbulent seas…

A beloved’s speech has no language

neither at the moment of the burst of desire;
Beside the burning pyre
nor in the deep
Lucidity of a dream.

You, the subway traveler
You, the woman born under the rays of another sun
You, the son of the sands of the Judean
who in your usual journey
Scourge through the bowels of this city of

One day you are struck by the song of others
without knowing anything about the librettos
it doesn’t matter if you say by the way;
in the middle of the noises of the metropolis;
hello, hi, hello, how are you,
Salaamuailaikum, bom dia, buon giorno,
magandam umaga.

I do not care.
Because your languages will look for each other
Despite your mother tongues
with the intimacy of lovers who meet
Under the silver light
at midnight
between complicit trees on Mount Aragats.

You are mine,

And I am yours
Regardless of the distinct cultures we share;
Beyond the faiths we have been assigned with.


durdana farid

Contains mild gore.
Reader discretion is advised.

as i gently kiss the remains of years past, i find pleasure in it
comfort in its treacherous layers
i am but walking limply on the fine line
between the beginning and the end
i am but in no rush to find respite

 i close my eyes and feel the cadences of this leering life
“To be or not to be…”
like thump thump thump on my temples
the remains surround and hound me in my memory-making
crows around a pile of grotesque, delicious intestines
yet i fail to shove my yearning for them down my throat
my miseries entwined with them,
gifted with care, disguised in ruthless nurturing
“she loves her child but it tastes like raw honey”
why thank you for that acknowledgment, let me write a reminder in my journal:
“never trust a stranger’s advice”

i had tucked old sorrows away with elaborate affirmations
but on days like these when i meet a stranger like you,
they emerge from the depths of my willingness
i am appalled at the recovery, my love
and even more so when I invite their magnetic pull at my soul
sleepless nights in your  arms
“you are so beautiful”
and i have already entered their abandoned arenas
too familiar, unforgotten.
the wounds are fresh under the dust but i am here to play anyway
i am who i am but
i miss who i could’ve been, my love

 my penchant for your presence
allow me to rattle you, dazzle you, comfort you and console you, my love
and in exchange
replicate the scenes where i perform who i could’ve been,
“i’m done with this and i’m done with that”
lies i tell myself
i unearth my longings and offer them to you,
so i can wait for you impatiently, my love
my red, black and blue memories and miseries
they are the burning narratives of my being

i lose myself in them when i meet the likes of you, my love
i will drown and i will love to drown, my love


Syed Raian Abedin

this is the city i showed you in your dreams.
beneath the bright moon, a burning lambency.
far beyond the ringing noise
and the colors of the elements
this city/this void
is but a hollow of hope unspoken; the unsaid answers
to the questions i threw at you
lie now in the flowers that now clamor your reality.

beyond every dream, i arrive
begging still for that shaking voice to grow
yet louder still
enough to drown out all the flowers, i hope
for this void of yours to return to the heavens,
i hope.

but you whisper once more, and ask me to hold your hand

and something in that hollow softly dissipated

and we remained there, unsure
of what made dreams, and what made reality.

and in that small void burning with words that were never given life,
waiting for dawn to erupt,
I held your hand.

Lover, be kind

Oikko Rode

My skin is glass to the touch
But only when it comes to you
To everyone else, I’m plain water.
When it comes to you
Just a tap starts a ringing
A scratch leaves a carving
Try to be careful
Of what you choose to draw
For you’re drawing on glass
Not on a wall.
I’ll cherish your sketches,
Every line, every shape
I’ll carry it all,
All the way to my grave.
I’m a stubborn man
And that doesn’t go well with my stutter
Try not to ruffle the mess
I don’t know how to break, I’ll shatter.

things i don’t tell my mother

Irtiza al Wasee

contains themes of self-harm.
Reader discretion is advised

when my mother asks me
how my day was
at 11 PM
i tell her: fine

i don’t tell her
how hard it was
to pretend it was
just. fine.

i don’t tell her
that my teeth are losing their armor
that the constant friction
is very powdery
inside my mouth

i don’t tell her
that my nails hurt
maybe because
they’ve been inside my mouth
all day

i don’t tell her
i’m late because i smoked
two packs
because my best friend
suddenly had other plans

so i pet the skinny dog
and somehow
all the tears that run dry
just before they spill
start making sense

the next time my mother asks
why i’m late
i’ll tell her the truth
i just hope it’s tonight

because i don’t know
if i can run to her room
before my left wrist
lets loose the crimson
just enough
for me to embrace
the bathroom floor

[ … an ode to Patrick’s ‘suicide poem’ ]



I’m made of seasalt, grainy
don’t mistake me
for potassium nitrate
I pull you towards the volcanic
curves of my body,
my skin sulphur and turmeric
I turn into charcoal,
from my fingertips to my eyes
of the same shade of burnt wood
I am about to blow us up twice
You are an explosive
in my sugary boudoir
and I’m nude—
I’m gunpowder—

Same Old Song And Dance

Gigarina Chadess

Contains graphic descriptions and themese of blood.
Reader discretion is advised.

That blood flows from the cuts they made on our flesh
That blood flows from the cuts they made on our flesh
They use as proof to call us ill.
Theirs is the compromise of progress
To use a hundred gashes nary a thousand for the kill.
As they dance on our splattered gore do they cry
“The invading cultures have led the youth awry!”
And in synchronization with their dance the next door
Leaders of this “invading culture”, perform the same chore.
One of these days
Wouldn’t it just be fine?
To become their name for us-
Destroyers of civilizations,  distortion of the grand design.


The Wolf

Shazmeen Haq

Contains themes of violence and graphic descriptions.
Reader discretion is advised

So Silver,
The wolf howled.
He had cunning eyes and soft fur
A beauty on the prowl.

Fawn and white,
His only friend, a gazelle
The only one who saw the wolf’s light
Together, they were perfectly pastel.

It was grimly dark
As the wolf killed.
Like the prince of Bismarck
Feasted and filled.

The fawn saw
In eyes of grey
As the wolf’s magnificent claws
Tore apart his prey.


Roses and Thorns

Nusaibah F. Yunus

A bed of roses, a bed of thorns
Glory to the house’s firstborn
The infant cries, first of their name–
A first breath; enter the blame game.

Onlookers watch as the infant grows
From a babe of the tiniest frame,
To a child who refuses to be tame.
Wild hair, wild eyes
Everyone tells them nothing but lies.

Age marches on and so do they;
Through challenges of the first degree
Life, the universe and everything laugh,
Because hey! Fate’s plans are the last decree.

Once a child, now someone else
Identity for them is a question of self
“Who am I?” “What am I?”
And Fate’s decree cries
“Child you are whoever you want to be.”
Fate does nothing but lie.

Now they lay, on the bed of thorns,
No roses for them as the onlookers scorned
What they wanted to be.