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  • Zahra Choudry


Mother, I cannot say it

much clearer.

I am simply not real.

I’m not sure why,

but the histories of the

Ancient Egyptian pharaohs

Tutankhamen or Hatshepsut,

the silk trade or Surrealism

and the Greek Wars

seem incomprehensible.

My memories elude me.

They are the distant

past, from which I am woefully


I am their prisoner,

as the semblances of what I

had kaleidoscope in my hippocampus.

They are mine no longer —

rather sterile, lifeless fragments

of when I was.

I have found four things to touch,

three to smell, two to hear.

The cold, damp dirt

grounds me to the Earth.

I’ve inhaled, held my breath for ten.

I release. But still confined by

the fog from which

my cognition has delayed itself.

There is not much else, Mother,

that I can say. The hours have

morphed into days

filled with kaleidoscoped

images of every expectation ever

to become of me. I fear

it has consumed me.

Perhaps it is the retrograde

for the positions of the stars, suns

or Mars might help

distract me from

what I will be,

what I should be, what

I could be.

Could I be?



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