There are different places inside a home we call home.
In this silent blubber of nightfall, I plunge into a futurity,
my fingers stroking the warm wombs of orange rinds.
Streetlights are rippling over the rims of kitchenware,
and I picture our son walking barefoot on pixelated countertops.
Imagination is a whorl of breath. There is vigour in each longing.
A million years from now I will be cooking in this kitchen,
birthing an aroma that allows me to travel back to this
sombre moment of quiescence. Our son’s neatly brushed scalp
toddles against the rhythm of convulsing streetlights,
his sparrow-soft eyes hungry for biryani or halwa puri.
Food is also transcendental. It fills the crevasses of memories;
a tea cosy on every unwashed gash. I imagine a moment
where I am kissing our son goodbye for school.
His fading footsteps, a stampede on my ribcage. . . . . . . .You.
You are a moon-blanched figment, a sheen on porcelain against
immensity. Yet to lose you is to emancipate a merry child
into the verbosity of this damaged world. Maybe growing old
is growing comfortable in the gentle beauty of heartbreaks.
Denial is the weight of my fingers thrashing against the dough.
Grief is a soundless droplet of sweat trickling behind my ear;
it is the same river that changes, burbles and travels to future,
to a home that fails to surrender the restful progenies of suffering.
by Hiba Aamer
Editor’s Note: The lush, unexpected imagery in this poem pushes the reader into the center of the speaker’s heart, where uncertainty and love and the inevitable rush of time all exist at once.