Saved from Summer by Ayesha F. Hamid

I welcomed the lack of heat, thinking
that there wouldn’t be any more of
summer’s oppression, the pressure under,
over, everywhere, cooking me from within.

In summer, the sun weighs down,
disheartening from dreams,
while the wandering, distracted mind
meanders, wishing to be someplace else,
wishing to be free, somewhere else
where I live, am listened to, am esteemed,
someplace else where I never fear being suspect
for being something less than ideal, a place where
my words always have weight just for what
they are, not from whom they come from.

Future possibilities, how I would
welcome you on my hot skin
like a perfectly cool breeze.

“Girls on Trains” by Ayesha F. Hamid

Searching in cities, walking aimlessly,
looking for a past, she breathes
in remembering what she used to be,
believing in everything, so sweet.

Scanning faces futilely, she braces herself for
the realization that they’re really
not the same faces
though they appear to be.

The ghosts haunting her will not be easily excised,
the torture of what could have been
will always stay within.

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

If someone isn’t wealthy, 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, then find
someone smaller who turns other men’s heads,
helps you fit in. 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.

“Solitary Tree” by Ayesha F. Hamid

Among the fields of clumped grass,
see me the misfit, sitting a solitary tree.
Help me create gates to keep dreaming at bay.
Instead reacquaint me with reality,
a screaming beacon for loners like me.
 
And we who are gated will naturally vie
just to see life outside brutal boundaries,
exhaling when we witness compromising beauty,
resonating respiration which brings us pain,
for we cannot join or partake, rather must refrain.

Instead, ready angst waits, followed by
the world’s withdrawal and always its apathy.