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Ayon


I found a picture of you
Standing on the roof,
Hands crossed behind your back,
Body facing
The black sky.
It was a hot night.
You talked about your mother's death
Softly, as if she'd hear you
Saying something wrong.
You told me you believed
You were becoming the strokes of a boatman
Crossing the Brahmaputra at dawn,
His hands moving up and down,
Trying to become water
And failing.
You smiled and believed
That your eyes would refuse
To let light in.
You believed a small breeze,
Small like a child's coffin,
Would prove your body was made of moths.
And all you believed
Happened.

Ten years later, I look at your picture
And can only think of rain
Falling over Dhaka,
Flooding every street,
Even the ones that go nowhere,
Flooding the now-empty roof
Where an old song is slowly ending.


Zubair Ahmed

City of Rivers
McSweeney's Poetry Series


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