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Sheikha A.

Write me, Saudade


Floating on invisible meters,

you came to me like a verse

determined for a voice; just

as quickly as you fluttered

to me, over unwritten words

on this lonely night, you left

sailing like a confident eagle.

Not flown too far from post,

you tottered back to my page,

nesting a lost, fractured spirit;

could you have had a stumble

on gravelly penitence? By will

or persuasion, your narcissistic

feathers rest upon your chest,

closed from flight, your eyes

engulfed by an aimless mist

resuscitating long buried hope

of returning to the old home

of waiting, where time can be

held, inescapably.





It’s odd how I don’t remember

your geographies, much less

histories. But, I know the land under

my feet right now is a rocky sea

of indecisive structures. I blame

your sand for spoiling my habits,

exposing me to unpredictability,

the escalating and plummeting,

teaching me heat, and then cold,

and then leaving me to fix

my inability to adjust.


Your gregarious moods have

ruined me. I talk the confused

babble of an ignorant know-it-all;

I walk with an arrogance sculpted

like your exaggerated architectures;

I whine under these un-catered

for inadequacies. You didn’t teach me

to be less, and now, I can’t

accustom to being a different more.


I carry about this one-sided

love affair, the frown by my brow

has become a ridged bridge hanging

over a mass of irreconcilability.


You prolong, unfazed, this distance,

and I walk a new land every day.


I watch you grow in pictures

or in people’s star struck words –

those new to your charms. But, I know

the land you were – you have been

building new histories.









I try magic


in nights as these

when your thoughts

coo a whisper

through my ears into cavities

of my being I filled up

with seedless words

ensuring they never root

from the water of my tears

flowing and regenerating

like platelets cycling the body

to survive

a wasted organ –

the heart.


I try memories

that grow

like vines from saplings

to slowly lengthening creepers

shrouding over bricks

I erected, one over another,

on ghouls of my flesh

inscribed with your name.


I try hallucinations

wherein you are sought

by deaths of reparations

come undone,

by philandering wants

to see you

break rivers rebellious

off sturdy dams.


I try sleep

to keep me in its abyss invisible

of the pit, of what awaits,

oscillating in semi-wakefulness

fighting my war

of should or shouldn’t,

of cling or release,

of resist or surrender.



‘Don’t give your heart away

with the ease that you do,’

I remember distinctly the warning

she had me heed.


‘Just because you despise a land,

doesn’t mean it is cursed too.’


I had dreamt of these words recurrently

and like a bad dream keeping me away

from you, I recited all the omen breakers

I had known.


Surely, the woman knew nothing

of my heart and the land I was from.


Many years into successfully

replicating each day of the last

spent with you;


enabling mummification of the sun and moon

and holding time in prostrate,

I have bruised my eyes awake in wait.


Her wisdom hasn’t been able to

clear away the webs,

release my nights from vigour,

paraphrase the complicated quote I have become,


and get you to

un-stray my voyaging spirit.





I wish to say, me

from wanting to go

back to memories




I wish you’d extinct

of existence and I

celebrate a victory




to my feel on tips

of the very fingers

that have you




scent-wise; upon rings

that speak of destiny

contrary to lines




of your existence



How do I cure myself

of a phenomenon as strange

as this?


My fingers need




from the way you felt

against them.










Sheikha A. hails from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates and is the author of a short poetry collection titled Spaced [Hammer and Anvil Books, 2013]. Her work appears in over 40 literary zines/journals/magazines such as Red Fez, The Muse, Ygdrasil, A New Ulster, Pyrokinection, Mad Swirl, Carcinogenic Poetry, ken*again, American Diversity Report to name a few, and several anthologies by Silver Birch Press. Her recent publications have been in Switch [the Difference] anthology by Kind of a Hurricane Press and Twenty Seven Signs – Poetry Anthology by Lady Chaos Press. Her real name is Umm-e-Aiman Vejlani under which she also writes and has been published. She edits poetry for eFiction India. More about her publication (ad)ventures can be found on her blog

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