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A Touch of Darkness

by Bassam Sidiki

Our arms, like blind snakes, slithered
across the moonlit marble, struggling to find each other

through the darkness of a Karachi
whose veins were slit of any power, no filament

lit to reveal our deviant embraces –
your chest a miniature furnace, coffee-warm breaths
mingled like steam to heat the ice-white floor

biting our bodies as the winter whooshed,
ghost-like beyond the shivering curtains
that conspire to hide us

from the dawn Adhan which narrows its eyes,
softly warning Prayer is better than sleep.

There is a beauty in piercing the darkness of judgment
by making love, finding freedom
in luminous iron chests – fragrant dahlias.

Love is no one’s commodity. Zealots try to keep
its utterances pure, stuff antiseptic down our gullets –
and even though I have coughed it up

in the land of the free,
my arms bypass Liberty’s torch (that glows
condescendingly off the eastern coast)

to get back to you.
I’d rather fuck by the minarets,
the call to prayer in our ears, the mullahs damning us

to the eternal incandescence
of our sweet-smelling hells.


Author-image-Bassam-Sidiki1Bassam Sidiki is a Pakistani-American writer and an incoming Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of Michigan, with interests in postcolonial theory and poetics. His work has previously appeared in Papercuts, The Anthem, and The Missing Slate. He is a voracious reader, an avid consumer of television, and hopeless caffeine addict. He tweets @Bassidiki.
Image credit: © 2017 | Bassam Sidiki