by Mina Shoaib

And I am sitting here and I am looking at her and her crinkled tin foil hands and that shirt she loves so ridiculously. You know the pink one with the little blue flowers that is older than me or at least the latest version of me. Whatever that means. And her hair is so much like mine and by that I mean it is dark and dying and has never looked appropriate but always lovely and she is.

And she wears one gold bangle, in honour of her mother , who loved to dance and she carries her wrists with the same grace. And the bangle is singular but always radiant and when I hold her palms in mine, it’s coolness reminds me of curtain clouded rooms and dusty cupboards and cold cups of tea with honey. Of plates of apple slices and old bottles of perfumed oil, standing on the shelf, with the sun dancing behind them. Setting them aflame.

And she has chapliyaan made of satin and they slide along the moonshine hallways in the night and it is a sound so hauntingly familiar, a sound that feels so terribly of safety and of home, I would rather the world end than it stop.

And I know there are better words that shimmer more grandly in the time light, but I do not own those words. These are the only ones I can afford and I would give them to her because I believe she will protect them best. And perhaps me as well.

And I am looking at her, sitting at the table in the mid afternoon shine; at her hands and her laugh and her heart and she is lovely and belongs to my heart and spirit and soul and I think I would set alight time itself for the chance to hold her here for a moment more.



My name is Mina Shoaib, eternal bookworm, tree lover, and occasional writer. I explore themes of postcolonialism, femininity, illness and identity in the form of poetry and poetic prose, and thus, try to make sense of life as I know and bear it. I’m currently a student, drowning in history assignments and chai, and hope to pursue a career in humanitarian work/law and writing in the future.


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