Almond blossoms reaching in the night as
rudder to your boat filled with ghazals. Beyond
this damask fog of winter, patterned with
tenderness on both sides, there are archers
aiming for the refrain in your heart. You
carry in your pocket a citadel
of verses, arsenal of tulips, you
carry a candle that will not last the
hour but melt into a pool that will stay
hot for a century, clotted in desire.
Shadab Zeest Hashmi
Shadab Zeest Hashmi is the winner of the San Diego Book Award, Sable’s Hybrid Book Prize, the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize and multiple Pushcart nominations. Her books include Baker of Tarifa, Kohl and Chalk, Ghazal Cosmopolitan and the lyric memoir Comb. Her work has been translated into Spanish, Turkish and Urdu, and has appeared or is forthcoming in Thrush, Prairie Schooner, Mudlark, The Cortland Review, Poetry International, Vallum, Poem, Diode, The Adirondack Review, Spillway, Atlanta Review, World Literature Today, Wasafiri and other journals worldwide.