— Video Credit: Bushra Saleem



I am Mama’s eyes
grey-black, glassy, distant eyes that belong
somewhere else
in someone else’s face
walking places I can never learn the names of, places
I will never visit, freedoms that could have been
mine in another lifetime
She is scattered; always
anywhere but here
Her life is an injustice. How can I correct it
Where do I begin. Which corner do I grab when
I too am anywhere but here
I too run off to places
I attend a million funerals everyday
I crunch broken glass between my teeth and wonder
why the bleeding doesn’t stop

Is this what unhappiness looks like—
a woman who is always scattered
scattered like chaff from sifted wheat
like dust particles hovering
like a million drops of perfume

Author’s Bio

Aisha Hamid is a feminist writer and poet based in Lahore, Pakistan. She graduated from the University of Warwick with an MA in Gender and International Development and is a Commonwealth Scholar. Her academic and creative writing both revolve around Pakistani women’s agency and the multiple meanings it comes to hold for them. As a woman living and writing in a deeply patriarchal space, she regards her writing as activism. She was among six writers shortlisted for the Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Women in 2019. She was also among eight writers selected for the residential LUMS Young Writers Workshop in 2019. She has been published by Buchleser Books and Rare Swan Press (forthcoming, 2020).