“Unlike twilight, I do not
conclude with darkness. I conclude.”
— Jennifer Chang
I’ve eaten moths around your hems
& swallowed daily obituaries
in the dailies like gin & vodka.
You leave a resplendence
on the surface of Marine Drive
but I see fireflies breathe their last there.
Let me be your silent grief your acid rain
your unseen spring your hungry mouth
the Arabian sea & its restless tides.
On some nights I yearn for you, say—
O changed lover O filthy occupant
I want to leave kisses for you before sunrise.
You have killed many been killed by many
a steadfast pyre that burns before it was built
now lays hopelessly in search of oblivion.
I’ll clear the soot of exile in my throat
without expectation that your naked back
will face those lost on your numberless streets.
I’ll run the way nostalgia is elusive to those
that seek I’ll not wait anymore for you to tap
my shoulder blades to be the way you were.
I’ll remember you only in symbols & images—
old, colonial hand-me-downs, neon hoardings
& thick, colorful glasses shattered by merciless guns.
November Night as Meadow and Hawk
My mother’s body / static as winter wool
mimetic red rose / unmoored bloodless
Departed on a failed bed / sans elixir sans breath
no song for aubade / upon her purple fermented lips
What sky was that / a stuffed animal / a hierophant
the earth / undid several orchids / released birds
My mother’s body / a trapped Mourning Cloak butterfly
“She has no pulse” / the doctor’s first and last words
The ambulance screeched / punctuated all silent streets
home was the distance / between pulse and vertebrate
The stars burned like death / a whisker
then ceased to be / disappeared far, far away.
Northern hawks moved southward / for wintertime
I saw a string of opaque brown / across the sky
I was intangible / with exit wounds not my own
a long winter of hibernation / with six lives left1
Which one would she choose / to be bird instead of human
gilded sky / fall’s gold dust descended / as feathers of a hawk.
1 According to Hindu Mythology, there are seven births granted to human life, a standard notation in the scriptures.
Faizan Adil is a Lahore-based Pakistani documentary and conceptual photographer. In 2015, He completed his BA (Hons) In Mass Communication from Beaconhouse National University, Lahore. His undergraduate degree thesis was ‘The role of photography and photojournalism in Pakistan. He has been working as a freelance photographer since 2013.