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Ilma Qureshi

after months

time rests 

like an ant 

carrying a thick grain 

learning to balance

its toes 


after months

sunshine dapples 

spoonful of honey

on the long oak tree 

or perhaps it has always been like this? 

maybe the last time I stroked sunlight 

was in a dream last night


when we sat 

in a garden from my childhood 

that I had long forgotten 


in the dream, I sat cross-legged

and thought of memory

how it sheds

like rainfall on autumn leaves 

yet i

now no longer a child, in my dream

sat in a garden from my childhood

cross-legged and sun-kissed 


i look at his eyes that shine 

like glass marbles mapled in sunlight 

like some marbles

that I gathered 

on a summer afternoon 

when the heat was so strong 

my whole body shrank

like a dried raisin 

yet the trees 

thick with plums and mulberries

watched over an afternoon

that lay quiet, unmoving


and yet possibility hung

like a ripe fruit

ready to fall 


i gathered marbles

in a green piggy bank 

that glittered with seaweeds and starfish 


in my dream 

as i sit cross-legged and green 

i sense 

the weight of galaxies

tucked in his eyes 

clusters of memories and dreams


like his childhood house 

burning with sunlight

or late afternoon, him sitting

hunched over a book 

his fourteen-year-old eyes

glimmering with dreams 


in my dream

sitting by his side

i touch his eyes 

eyes heavy with a dream he had last night—

when he ran into a field

barefoot and laughing 

as moths with papery wings

turned into infinite suns 


perhaps time 

cannot be sliced thin 

in neat pieces

like piano keys 

stacked next to each other 


each moment

time rivers differently

sometimes it is the dark ocean 

dipped in moonlight 

and at other times 

a field 

that morphs into shimmers and flickers 

at the mere quiver of a firefly

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