You are in the diode archives diode v7n2




You are the lights burning
low from the makeshift earth

ovens at the turn of empty
streets, the woman sweeping

the pavement with one foot
short of toes sliced clean

from a factory machine.
I hear you at my window,

in the neighborhood guard’s
whistle, its shrill ring drawn in

and out of the winter mist,
in the dogs barking at the quiet.

You are back streets flanked
with homeless men, backs kissed

to the scrape and dirt of earth,
snores humming in the sewer.

At nights, its airy ribs throb
with echoes of hard hit drums

sent from a flaring of wedding
tents. But mostly you are

the spring winds rippling
kites swooping low from cables

strung limp across skies
to the scent of tobacco
and flowers beneath his collar.



I want to be your blood-lipped poster
girl, hip swung to a stern jawed warrior

in turban on horseback, his eyes two
rifle scopes perched on billboards of

ghost theatres. I am each of your vagrant
children, huddled like matchsticks in

sewers, fists pumping needles, my blood-
stream a raceway belted overhead. Some-

times I want to know what it’s like to lurk
in your alleys—a shadow, panther slow,

heart at war-beat speed, ribcage a rattling
artillery, veins a tracery tender as a thread

across a child’s palm. Tonight, I want to
wake again in your blackouts, nameless,

in their sockets of timeless hollows, and
from the voices in the dark, call to my own.  


Hera Naguib is currently pursuing her MFA in writing as a Fulbright Scholar at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She is among the poetry editors of The Maya Tree: Liberal Arts Review, published by Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, and of Papercuts from Desi Writers Lounge. She currently lives between Yonkers, New York, and Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has appeared in The Boiler Journal, Papercuts, and The Maya Tree: Liberal Arts Review.