Shereen Akhtar

Ha, hai koi to baccha, jo jeena ka mazzah yun aane laga

           -  Yes, can anyone save me, from the excitement of life that has

                come upon me?

5am & I want to get her coffee & she says sleepily

toothbrush & three days later we are side by side in the mirror &

shaking, a headphone each & mine falls out my mouth 

& she tells me she doesn’t know how to process the news &

when she leaves & I stay behind & it happens to us this time

& I take my colleagues to mosque to pray funeral prayer &

my 5am becomes powder & more powder &

I turn up to work shaking & see the table where she worked

& spoke to her rabbi about the book I gifted & I know

that wanting it to work wasn’t enough & traditions weigh more

than hypocrisy & did I ever pray in front of her I can’t quite

remember & I miss the smell of shabbat candles &

her long skirts & dream of it – a secret marriage & a new

5am routine & pesach & isha & a house full of complementary


S Akhtar is a London based poet and playwright. They are interested in the intersection of madness and spirituality. They particularly focus on Abrahamic religions, psychosis and addiction.

©2018 HighShelfPress. 

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