Rizwan Akhtar






for Tammara Claire

Without your dark eyes and a settled chin
the evening is too unstable and shaky

even the whetting shrill of woodpeckers
is dulled wanting a harder crust for bills

random footsteps haw the creaking floor
voices poach on my silence housed in

the aplomb whiteness of a page on my table
paling in your absence, unwrinkled for months

last time you filled it with your flaunting hands
since then what was considered a fantasy is now

a compulsion to write all details I missed during
an argument over who is going to keep record

of moments, we both chase them as if it our fate
to follow time squandering in the lawn outside

where the wind takes toll on the thin saplings
watching their demise at the end of veranda

words make windows from which I sight you
running away with the vocabulary we agreed
breaching trust and dying like a language.




Rizwan Akhtar’s debut collection of Poems Lahore, I Am Coming (2017) is published by Punjab University Press.   He works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan. He completed his PhD in postcolonial literature from the University of Essex, UK in 2013. He has published poems in well-established poetry magazines of the UK, US, India, Canada, and New Zealand. He was a part of the workshop on poetry with Derek Walcott at the University of Essex in 2010.

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