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Two poems by Hibah Shabkhez


Essay Skeletons


Still they haunt us, the fluffy uninked ghosts

Of ideas that fall by the wayside

When we whittle down their fluttering hosts

To huileux essay skeletons that glide

On while they are torn


Apart by your pen. Essay skeletons

Are fatal scythes for the forlorn fleeting

Whirligig rays of unorbited suns

Hungering for a home in a penned thing

About to be born.


They haunt us with visions that could have been

Ink-real, if we had cared, if we had dared

To stand and stare before scything the green

Mist with outlines. Here’s to the wraiths who bared

Their souls, and were shorn.


Nightmare


My scribbles are ruled by dread of a tree

Fear of blooms only dawn can stem –


Blue the daisies glimmer on moonlit nights

And make us forget the day’s soft beauties:

These flowers, standing in the field

So demurely in the sun’s rays,

Swear at its moon-mirror to yield

Leaves and petals stolen by days


Scouring each face for the bad side,

The scar, the gash, the furl, the leaf,

Able to hold the pests they slide

In, locusts made of untold grief.

I shudder and let the dancing wind-lights

Absolve me of my abandoned duties.


The flowers hate me too, do you not see,

For writing such lies about them?

Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in Bandit Fiction, Shot Glass Journal, Across The Margin, Panoplyzine, Feral, Literati Magazine, and a number of other literary magazines. Studying life, languages, and literature from a comparative perspective across linguistic and cultural boundaries holds a particular fascination for her.

Twitter: @hibahshabkhez

Instagram: @shabkhez_hibah


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