mayhaps

skin the color of canoes.

in karachi, women like my mother collect daffodils
before dawn, press them into their husband’s journals
and wait until noon before crushing them into boiling water. 

my father has not yet stopped telling me that you can tell
where flowers are meant to drown by watching the way the 
sky bends, and that when he was ten years old with a broken 
leg, he threw the south asian horizon and it came back to him
the day i was born.

there are lungs trapped in the history textbooks of boys
like my father, with canoe-coloured skin and knees that know 
the taste of rough concrete only too well.

there are breaths caught in the names of british generals
who fell in love with grandmothers like mine, whose saris
were always getting hooked onto fences they jumped over
as they chased things they did not know existed, like snow and 
other things too white to be slain.

in karachi, women like my mother collect daydreams
before dawn, press them into their husband’s hands
and wait until the moon rises before crushing them
i
nto their skin. 

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