Peeling back his eyelids to contest the glistening tongue of morning that rose to his memory, he could not see. And so he lived another sepia day, and another grey evening, with the sage continence of islands.
The flux of voices deadened by a defaulting ear, of faces as dim as far off planets carried him in a trajectory of motion denied to his legs. Slowly, he skinned a tangerine in the sun, and orchestrated
an unheard symphony with his voice; at least his speech had not yet overshot the alphabet. And at night, he drew another dream from his tired repertoire: fish drifting through splendid corridors of coral architecture,
the lacteal earth riotously offering fruit and wheat and honey. And yet, from the street below, not even the ordinary scent of the Taali tree would reach him to second his motion in favour of Paradise.
Then one day he woke up with the taut urban sky building visions on the window of bone-littered clearings where horses and elephants come to die, felt time computing a countdown. Or perhaps not.
Perhaps half-hearing, half-sight and immobility had frozen his intuition, so that he died thinking of his dust-laden orchard and its line of humming poplars, their wire-drawn branches lit telescopically by the winter light like skeletons painted on the sky.
Mehvash Amin is a writer, poet, editor and publisher (Broken Leg Publications). Her poems have been published in journals such as Vallum, Sugar Mule and The Missing Slate, as well as in Abhay Khanna’s anthology, Capitals. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poem "Karachi". She is the force behind The Aleph Review, a yearly anthology of creative writing from Pakistan and elsewhere.