Gaping at the summer wood between my teeth
My grandmother is a tree extending beyond the Verandah
Her skin drapes the chirping evening shadows & in her hair,
Ribbons of a forgotten story tighten around the hues of Henna-
She remembers to paint the white strands orange every week
And calls me by every name but mine
I turn into a dentist, plucking stories from her rotten teeth
They stink of a future I never knew;
My grandmother wakes up to the 1970s & a National Emergency has been proclaimed
The only emergency clinging to our ribs is a therapy that leaves no canvas for the Henna to settle upon;
The cloudless skies seem to vapourise as a tree sheds its name
She is the daughter of a King now, she lives in a Palace of gold
She eats diamonds after each meal and her hair is the screech of a raven doused in young, energetic frivolities
Summer wood and too many gaps,
We witness the dysfunctional tides flowing between & beyond the crevices of time.
-Nameera Anjum Khan.