Rizwan Akhtar, The Strip Called Memory

The Strip Called Memory

Somewhere between a mellow wish
and an aborted memory rested a place
where small words did not matter
silence used its jagged teeth to crush
the residue of babbling evenings, in
fainting, nights caught fireflies and named
them accordingly as if we were parenting
them, homing them in our bowled hands
and when the wind came like a shock,
scattered and held each other’s hands
long sentences fostering orphaned phrases
the glowing worms lost sight of eyes when
a beggar croaked from behind a bush
scaring colonies of charm, wind-packed
trees ejected many leaves and the earth
wore a sheet of crinkled noise, we walked
carefully hoping that there was no great loss,
small bodies like expressions fell on the ground.

Rizwan Akhtar’s debut poetry collection, Lahore, I Am Coming (2017), was published by Punjab University Press. He works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Punjab University, Pakistan. He completed his PhD in postcolonial literature at the University of Essex in 2013.

Rizwan has had poetry published in the UK, US, India, Canada, and New Zealand, and was part of a workshop on poetry with Derek Walcott at the University of Essex in 2010. In his academic research, he has explored the areas of memory studies, crime fiction, adaptation studies, and the autonomy of aesthetics.

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