“Crushed Crickets” By Hamza Naseer

In my silent meditation, hushed words
quiver and mutter, begging for release;
to be unleashed from their confines —
rattling their chains in a crescendo
that cannot be left unforeseen or unheard.

I bend my head to these words.
The trees prostrate themselves
before the figure that is formed.

The date is chewed and shared with the mouth of my love.
The intoxicating wine is spilled in the streets.

The animals begin to recall:
the crickets move their legs in unison,
and the twilight rings with moths
that shake against the stilling night.

The minarets ring: they too have words;
the date in them is just a fruit,
the love within them is just a description,
not a sharing, a union,
and no figures are formed: only an empty sky decorated
with flowery verse; wine is spilled here too,
but the drunken nature of nature itself is forgotten.

The trees are chopped.
The moths fly away,
the crickets are crushed under the weight of my faithless palm.

The only twilight that exists is in the circumlocutory
weaving and unweaving of your words, the thread that lines my soul,
and your dress trailing across the hallways in the dead of night
as I follow you in long corridors made of shadows and dreams
that fall away under my step:
your dress is the silver light I trace
for an awakening of everything within me:
the darkness of the jungle,
the solitude of the abandoned river.


Hamza Naseer is from Lahore, Pakistan. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science (honors) degree in a joint major Psychology and Philosophy program. He’s coached at various institutions for public speaking (LACAS, UMT) and now spends his time slaving away at university assignments and reading whatever material comes his way. He firmly believes in two things: 1. all dogs deserve a nice, long hug and 2. love has to be forged rather than found. He is also a fierce believer in secularism, and tries to popularize the idea in his country using whatever safe means he can. Reach him at hamza.naseer0704@gmail.com

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