Sundown is litmus,
the cruellest hour to bear. "The silence is too loud." "The TV will drown the silence."
The way light fell,
it was always our own silhouettes
the talk shows and TV dramas.
Our shrinking frames were drowning in the looming house.
We sat and wondered
if there was a link
between the guilt of those who left
and the size of the screens that came.
"Fragile", they said.
"Handle with care."
Naima Rashid is an author, poet and literary translator. Her first book, Defiance of the Rose (Oxford University Press, 2019), was a translation of selected verses by Pakistani poet Perveen Shakir from Urdu into English. Her writings have appeared in Asymptote, The Scores, Poetry at Sangam, The Aleph Review, Newsline and other places. She was long-listed for the National Poetry Competition 2019.