I spread my words on the table tarnished
With many hands trained in tearing
Tandoori roti* trifling with chickpeas
Suffering their separation from the oil edging
Due to the dread dotted in meeting.
 
A plastic pitcher, placed in the center,
Crammed With water, saline in speech,
And plaque in presentation, holds the half tree
Leaves waving on the surface sink, and slink up
Someone pours a twig in a tumbler, and passes on.
 
A paddler promotes the company that 
Cooks hasty headlines in bolder words
Are like the big single bone in your paya* curry
That you only sip and slurp, not devour and digest.
Here headings are honored till you need a hand-towel.
 
There are some satisfying their senses soaping
 Under a hand pump plowing pools of water
On the side of an immutable mosque
Measured with its straw mattresses
Under a right roof, someone sinks in supplication.
 
Outlying landscapes share with the sceneries
Sacked in the storeroom in my home
Grass is classically cropped. That is why there are no cows
Posing on my clicks the swishing shrubs stand still
An old man curses my camera.
 
* Tandoori roti is made with whole-wheat flour and is traditionally cooked in a clay oven (tandoor).

* Paya is a traditional Pakistani breakfast dish. It is made using trotters

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“Faiza Anum teaches Literature(s) in English at the University of Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan. Her poems have appeared in Illumen, published by Alban Lake Publishing (USA); Yellow Chair Review (USA); and Open Road Review (India). Her “Travelling Tales” was one of the finalists for Open Road Review Poetry Prize 2015.”