Selina Mahmood


angry in one land, empty in
the other, i have no wings.

Harris, Dawkins, Hirsi Ali, Mullahs—
what similar crucifiers of wings.

"cover your hair! uncover your hair!"
i have no home, only wings.

you men who dictate women,
you butcher humanity's wings.

you women who have embraced
acidic rhetoric also nullify wings.

the azaan rang in this old city,
beckoning Bilal timelessly on wings.

wrapped around a dupaata,
i flew through Anarkali on wings.

wise men say that i am doomed:
roots needed to have glorified wings.

yet, the Moon's roots from rotting
winds fly to far soiled beatified wings.



i walked backwards, cigarette, mouth
dangling-ling, to watch hills make war.

the stub fell, blew into stars, as our
faces collided into split mighty wars.

stars that became dust and then
the Nile's waters with my war.

i was the star water that filled the
still clay jug for the Exodus, war.

you poured me onto the ground,
alive, into blood that kills with war.

never scorn a female, jaan, i had
warned you: we will become wars.

Time shall make you bow down with
guilt built from your selfish war:

circumambulate seven times around
Ka'aba and Jericho and Selina's war.


                             (for the weeknd)


Selina A. Mahmood is in her final year of medical school and has published a collection of poetry.