i.
I’m sorry, she whispers, as she drops feather light kisses onto his brow bone.
he does not ask her for what.
he knows it in the way
his mother had said goodnight,
good morrow,
there is a new dawn.

ii.
mahogany tables and bone white chairs.
he sits in front of her, gaze on the each crevice, each shadow that falls on her hand.
how each vein seems to rise up, another river, another stream.
the hand on the table in front of him.
his own twitches, hidden beneath. waiting, anticipating.
(his breath hitches as he senses her move)
absentmindedly, she withdraws her own.

iii.
she is laughing and she is brilliant and she is the sun.
he walks behind her, watching as each flower opens up as they pass them.
nothing compares to how she looks back,
reaches back,
clasps each of his hands in her own
and swings.

iv.
she tells him, shhh, finger on her lips.
(there are 4, 5, 6 wildflowers stuffed down his throat)
the stairs creak as she guides him upstairs
and he notices how the walls do not shudder
with how hard his heart is beating.

v.
her sheets are lilac and his entire mind is splattered on the walls.

vi.
phone calls.
he hears her breathing behind the receiver, once, twice, before it clicks shut.

the phone is still against his ear for a very, very long time.

vii.
another table. it is plywood and does not feel right beneath his fingertips.
she plays with his hands.
her legs are splayed,
his wrapped around her ankle.

viii.
each night, he pries them loose.
(but each moment, she is prying him apart slowly, achingly)

ix.
her voice mail is on.

x.
he does not understand why each wall encloses him.
he does not understand why the feeling on his thighs has not left yet, and why their is a slow burn in his throat.

xi.
empty,
empty,
empty,
empty.

xii.
her absence is biting him, her words are stained on his skin. he walks on sidewalks and watches each crack widen until he is sinking below.

xiii.
three months.
(there is a single dead wildflower on his window sill — like candles set by wives waiting for there husbands to come back home)

xiv.
the bar door opens before he can reach for it, he stumbles, his gaze sharpens and he sees her cheeks and there is light, light, light in this winter night.

xv.
I’m sorry, she whispers, and it is sounding like the way his mother’s fingers tightened his hat before she walked out of the door.

xvi.
no, you’re not, is what he knows, as she leaves without a backward glance.

xvii.
he is home but not really. The clock has been ticking for hours and hours and hours and he watches.

xviii.
he thinks
no,
I am the one who is sorry

 

 

Photograph by: Sakina Rizvi

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Syeda QuratulAin
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Syeda QuratulAin

Wow. Wow. Wow. It’s an amazing depiction!