Two Poems by Momina Mela

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


EATING IN MY SLEEP

I rub your color out of my eye and spine across the quivering twang of boughs
the sky ahead is alive and unremarkable  
but for a caught blur of moon whittling into chasm like the eggplant
we will later smash, eat it hot and holy with our hands

I sour in tube light foliage       
my soul-shaped compression flickers to a moth— the driveway is nondescript     
bulb cavities of mock citrus hellish to taste, loquats green
in their wooly sacs quell hush & snip

You open the door and ask:
how do you cut so sharply on thin air?

                                    *

do you remember the meat, the white rice and daal?
remember the goat brains in the blue ceramic bowl

do you remember the orchards of vampire bats?
remember the fruit pulp dribbling down their fangs                              

                                      *

years from my mind         I will locate my mind

in the cool tip of your earlobe        let my hair grow inward to bone tissue
           
designate my scalp the brink of the world

 

love          love what when love is a perfect skein of geese 

when what I need is a pellet of naked dogs at the curb      

look at that girl         blossoms toss wingless from her chest              

 

unbecoming each aspect of skin               open the windows    

air out the clots so as not to shame death 

let them bulbuls in       let 'em eat the throttled lychees off her back

 

SONNET ON TELEGRAPH HILL


Another excuse for entropy but this time with snow
and the shape of a man in boots. So my colored face
bulbs aubergine in shanked wind, hooked by the fat
glib of his mouth. Crafts my nature fettered. Like beautiful
women in wooden homes, I can be possessed too.

Please don’t stop. Power me right and show me the world
pose in a black jacket with a hood on—I’ll take it
and I’ll take that runny swamp too. Three Sikh men said:
you have lucky face. I replied in this order: Yes. Really? No. 

Some mountains sit with backs to one another.
Some weep from the torso and beg for animals.
        I, but I. 
Haven’t been naked enough to know where the wind
hits harder. I prefer plateaus and the illusion of strength.


 Photo of Momina Mela

Photo of Momina Mela

Momina Mela is a Pakistani poet from Lahore. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the New Yorker, Poetry, Waxwing, THRUSH, diode, Prelude, Drunken Boat and elsewhere. She currently serves as the international editor for Washington Square Review and is an MFA candidate and adjunct instructor at NYU. She lives in Brooklyn. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SONNET ON TELEGRAPH HILL

 

 

Another excuse for entropy but this time with snow

and the shape of a man in boots. So my colored face 

bulbs aubergine in shanked wind, hooked by the fat

glib of his mouth. Crafts my nature fettered. Like beautiful 

women in wooden homes, I can be possessed too.

 

Please don’t stop. Power me right and show me the world 

pose in a black jacket with a hood on—I’ll take it 

and I’ll take that runny swamp too. Three Sikh men said:

you have lucky face. I replied in this order: Yes. Really? No. 

 

Some mountains sit with backs to one another.

Some weep from the torso and beg for animals.

I, but I. 

Haven’t been naked enough to know where the wind 

hits harder. I prefer plateaus and the illusion of strength.