“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.

“Escape on Saturdays” by Ayesha F. Hamid

Saturday’s ritual is discourse at diners,
when we talk while walking
to our regular hangout, The Green Kitchen.

As we wipe our feet on the mat on the floor,
we exit a pressure cooker, of sorts,
as worries are left at the door.

The mornings here mean so much more
than French Toast, eggs, home fries.

Forgetting brimming calendars,
we find a space of solace
where it’s just you and me,
fresh silverware, an easy cup of coffee.

Now protected within parameters
of peace, the havoc halts.

Relaxed, we breathe, and talk, and laugh.