I watch & watch & watch
There is no outer to this silken longing.
It is an inward spider, threading out
Routes to the dark interior.
Still, at times, a stubborn petal
Makes its way here – light & aerial.
A witch’s spell is inscribed
On its wayward accent.
I read in desperate lamplight,
The incantations of a rose.
Nothing is as lost as the dying ember.
Perhaps it shifts its ashen feet
Unable to decide, still.
Nothing, more found than a ghost
As it recurs on abandoned streets.
Fatima Ijaz is based in Karachi, Pakistan and teaches English Composition and Speech Communication at IBA. She is a contributing editor at a literary publication – Pandemonium Journal. She graduated in English from Hartwick College, NY and York University, TO. She holds an MA in English Linguistics from Eastern Michigan University, MI. She won first prize at the Mclaughlin Poetry Contest in Toronto (2007). She has participated in poetry and art collaborations which were featured at Music Mela 2019, Art Baithak 2019 and Taseer Art Gallery 2020. Her poetry and prose have been published in or are forthcoming in isacoustic, New Asian Writing, Kitaab, Rigorous, Zau, Praxis, The Write Launch, Red Fez, Whirlwind, Naya Daur, Poetica Review and Aleph Review amongst others.