The boxes I put myself in are getting smaller.


As a child of seven summers,

when my bare feet knew the grasses well,

I was Odysseus at Troy,

carving a way through the enemy rhododendrons.


I spoke at the midnight hour on August fifteen,

I was fifteen then,

my voice rose high and clear,

my dreams torched the sky.


I loved this girl from the next neighbourhood,

pretty in peony pink hijab,

the youth did not know when to back down,

the youth did not know how not to love.


Now that the girl is gone,

the dreams have withered away;

and the child gave way a long ago

to the husk of a man that I have become.

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