Saved from Summer by Ayesha F. Hamid

She welcomed the lack of heat,
the end of summer’s oppression,
the pressure under, over, everywhere
having cooked her from within.

In summer, the sun weighed
down, disheartening from dreams,
while the wandering, distracted mind
meandered, wished to be someplace else,
wished to be free, somewhere else
where she was listened to, was esteemed,
someplace else where she never had to fear
being suspect for being something
less than ideal. That place she wanted to welcome
on hot skin like a perfectly cool breeze.

“Girls on Trains” by Ayesha F. Hamid

Searching in cities, walking aimlessly,
looking for the past, she breathed
in remembering what she used to be,
believing, supportive, sweet.

Scanning faces futilely, she braced herself
for the realization that they really
aren’t the same faces though they appear to be.
These ghosts haunting her wouldn’t easily
be excised, the torture of what could
have been will continue to stay within.

“Salvation Dims” by Ayesha F. Hamid

To find the auras of angels move your
misdirected field of vision from the sky
towards the opposite direction
to see cheerful children in personas of perfection,
not contemplating but knowing goodness,
with eyes full of wonder and love,
squeaking with joy, smiling with ready teeth for all,
without exception, pretense, or prejudice.
They lack mythical angel wings,
the true saviors of the world,
radiating lovely light
through exaggerated gestures.

But agony takes root and grows
in this silently screaming earth
as adversaries arise hurting children
with guns, deception, bombs.
Children’s deaths mean Armageddon,
humanity pushed to primal screams
which echo, echo over the entirety of the globe.
These sounds will deafen all inhabitants
of this impotent place, incapable of protecting
the most precious bearers of the future.
This is when the resonating light
of salvation truly dims.

“The Sheltering Self” by Ayesha F. Hamid

As the water dries from disillusioned eyes,
something else emerges,
the other self I’d submerged.

She takes her chance to seep all the way in,
flourishing, allowing me release.

What good did being good get me but grief,
that woman has long enough grieved.

Where being good drowned me,
she helps me breath,
standing to give me peace,
protecting me from hereon in,
a sheltering self,
tough enough to face the world’s ignominy.

Maybe, one day, I’ll allow you reprieve,
but not now dear, I’ll hold you close,
watching you as you rest after trying your best.

How I love to see you sleep
while I grow strong, the bad seed.