“Burden” by Ayesha F. Hamid

So much weight, the back bends.
Pressure pushing deeper down,
deeper into the ground. Without
this weight, what needed to be,
could have been done with
more energy, more life left.
But burdens meant to bury stay
until they break the will, prodding, poking,
eviscerating everything, so all that
remains is the sound
of animals languishing in loss, and a heart
full of fear, judgement, and betrayal.

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.

“Love in the Twenty-First” by Ayesha F. Hamid

If someone isn’t rich, find someone with funds,
silver, diamonds, gold, enough to see you through.
If he’s not cold enough, with no head to fend
off the brutality of life, then find a man
who feels less, one not cornered by compunction,
who does what he must, giving out pink slips
left and right. When she’s not young enough,
cut your ties, give a divorce, leave your
first wife. Not thin enough, find someone
smaller, someone who helps you fit in
for love’s never set in stone, so go
through as many as you need till you find the one.
Till you find true love in the twenty-first.