Hera Naguib is a poet and teacher based in Lahore, Pakistan. She is a former recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship through which she earned her MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. She also holds an M.Litt in Literature in English from Beaconhouse National University, Lahore. Hera's work has appeared or is forthcoming in literary journals and magazines, such as, World Literature Today, Prairie Schooner, Beloit Poetry Journal, Spillway, diode, among others. Currently, she teaches literature at a private university in Lahore and serves as lead poetry editor at Papercuts, the bi-annual literary journal published by Desi Writers Lounge (a cultural not-for-profit organization committed to nurturing the literary arts in South Asia).
B Y H E R A N A G U I B
H E R M E N E U T I C C H A O S J O U R N A L
Now, across house walls, as if out of nowhere,
your voice—hoarse, fibrous.
I think of broom bristles on wet porches on mornings,
days you were a toddler and I hid
in the bushes. Your nose tensed up
like the milk’s skin in your cup
under my fingertip.
Bury your phone in your pocket.
Think of Ahmed at the storefront, jostled,
shot through the eye; the figure
wheeling past with his phone in fist. Think
of other brothers’ bodies: turgid sacks
heaved by the river’s toxic belly;
blood splattered over classroom doors.
Those who never come home
or those who saunter back
in the clefts of quieter nights
haunting the margins of our sleep;
scaling brief transits
between dying and the living
to ask for the scent
of Eucalyptus and mother’s musk.
Here is some money, as you leave the door.
Here, on my lips, this verse
and lights to channel the stamped zinnias
and the path up front widening—
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