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An Evening in Hazrat Nizamuddin

Karuna Chandrashekar

for Sabah,

the light held within
the palm of each day.

Over the dargah,
the sky is like a soft animal
readying for sleep.

A marigold rolls
on marble
like a hundred girls crossing their arms
over the closing eye of the sun.

Behind the lattice,
one girl dances with both
a boy

and a jinn,
the light wonders
which one
will she run away with?

In a dark corner,
another somersaults,
with a demon on her back:

girlhood is such a rough rind
we bite down
so we can sing through our teeth,

sounding the light
for the Spirit to arrive.

When the marble
softly glows–a living color,

the devotion of birds
falling from the sky,
heeding the call of qawwali,

we will gather enough twilight
in our eyes,
like a chemise in the fists
of orphans
in their long search for home

Karuna Chandrashekar is a psychodynamic therapist and grad student currently living in Toronto, Canada. Her work has been featured in journals such as La.Lit, AnomalyLit, Sea Foam Mag, The Sunflower Collective, and more.