Two Poems by Babra Shafiqi

Painting: Matthew Wong

By Babra Shafiqi

A Dead Fly

On the dead fly’s funeral
The lights are dimmed
To almost none,
So that the passersby
don’t gag
at the stiff two dimensional legs.

Its body, slowly decaying
But none can tell a difference.
No one looked at the fly purposefully,
with welled up eyes
And asked the shrunk kite
Are you dying?

The fly took a corner
of the laundry room,
chose its own two feet land.
It must’ve hummed
– a faint tune –
before turning its back to the ground.

No one attends the stale fly’s last rites,
No one mourns like clouds, their thundering sobs
Or the drops of tap water shaped as a noose
– the last thread of life –
The fly lays dead
Coffinless, graveless
Like mere brutish insects.


The Drop of Your Shoes

I stand underneath the plump tree
That has risen far from the apple.
With my dry tongue on the shoes
For some water from your mud.
My heart has a dull colored red, like fallen fruit
Rotting on the ground, lost in the grass.
My pungent smell – inherited possession –
Grabs few perfumed bullets for a day.
And I, distanced away from them,
Prepare my sun-burnt skin and
Tired, torn garment for a shower.
After the rain of rants, your conscious words
My dry tongue still sticks to your boots
And I crawl my way to lick it,
To drink the leftovers of your bath
In the lake, far behind the tree.

Babra Shafiqi is a young poet who hails from the streets of downtown Kashmir.  She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in English from Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi. Her poems echo her interest in the metaphysical, socio-political and philosophical dynamics of common life.


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Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Poetics and politics of the ‘everyday’: Engaging with India’s northeast”, edited by Bhumika R, IIT Jammu and Suranjana Choudhury, NEHU, India.

One thought

  1. While the first poem is a clever, poignant look at the way we discard much of terrestrial life beyond our own ‘flesh and blood’ characteristics, I was struck by the second work in the way it builds up a realistic picture of repressed desires and suppression in a male hegemony.


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