‘Street’: Sehri Tales selections, Day 14
He pauses at the corner of Mirpur 2 and 1
Lifts a tiny cigarette to his lips
Prayer beads dangle like so many sacred vows
I push down the urge to shout
Nephilim, neanderthal, napalm
Words fail to convey his thrall
Are told in folk stories
Keep your head up and your chin down
And yes, don't you dare turn around
The bogeyman wants a smoke
by Mastura Tasnim
I went to bazaar for the first time today.
I took your usual street.
I looked at the vendors on the vans.
I looked at the produce.
I looked at the shops lining the street.
And all I could think of was, did he/she know you?
Were you a regular at his/her van?
What would you have bought?
I pushed those thoughts and focused on the list at hand, the one ammu gave.
While packing, I remembered, you never came with just the things on the list, you always brought something extra, something that ammu might have liked, or Zaheen, or me, or simply because you felt like...
I tried to remember if there was any pattern, I looked around for some/any visual cue.
I didn't get any.
So I just went with what I felt like you used to do, whatever I felt like ammu would like to have.
And that's maybe the crux of my grief abbu. I don't only have to accept a life without you, I also have to put your soes on, in that life, for ammu, for Zaheen.
I will have to go through my whole life wondering at every step, "What would Abbu do?"
by Nazmun Tabassum Mayeesha
darkness reigns, silence hums, water drips, engines rumble, street lamps and neon lights that outshine the moon, lonely wails cry out to the wind—
the streets never really quite learn to sleep
by Namreen Shaiyaz