Harami Nala

Basmah Sakrani

Shock-and-awe headlines of abandoned boats: empty vehicles

of action, all bark and masculine like the unwanted gaze of

your teacher, an older cousin, the tailor who stitched together a

periwinkle lehenga for you to twirl in, even as he pinned you,

days before your brother's wedding, against a leaning iron-

board heaving with other women's half-formed dresses.

A numbers game: won by the British long ago, but played

today by two halves of a whole who postulate as if contributing

to high art. 

A he said-he said war: of vanished fishermen leaving behind

trawlers that their wives will crawl for a scent or a forgotten


Will they rejoice, any of them?

Quicksand: shins caked in the sloppy debris of secrets of the

state that turn into missives and missiles before you’ll have a

chance to visit the salt flats where travelers lose their ways,

drawn by the dancing lights of chir batti like a woman

possessed with revenge and a hunger to lure and leech.

No man’s land: a hyphen in the Arabian Sea where once,

centuries ago, your forefathers staked an ounce of blood into

the land – a claim without cartography – that spills now from

your pen, sprouting with no warning to make you pause where

it hurts even as you cry out the question burning holes in your


But what of the foremothers? 

Basmah Sakrani is a Muslim Pakistani-Canadian writer living in Memphis TN with her husband and 2 dogs. Her writing has appeared in Noble Gas Quarterly, Rusted Radishes and won the 2018 Tiferet Writing Contest. She works at Wunderman Thompson and is completing her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She posts on @BorderlandReflections on Instagram.