Aytan Laleh is a twenty-one-year-old writer based in Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has appeared in Eunoia Review and is forthcoming with Riggwelter Press and Picaroon Poetry. She writes under a pseudonym and tweets at @AytanLaleh.
Child of Four
There is the sound of her laughter,
Purer than an image of oxblood,
She jumps from ship to ship, embarking on a
Journey to no-man’s-land.
She has a biscuit in her hand
Which drops, to make her squeal,
The grains stuck to her lips with epoxy,
Her lips the colour of rose-pink blush,
Her eyes emblems of dark times ahead,
But this child of four does not need to worry.
She is the sun that laboriously stays in place,
Her labour a work of easiness,
Never to set, rise or make a move,
She is the vapour not formed,
The lioness without a womb,
She is paint, red and yellow,
Unmixed to scalding oranges.
There is a baby near me, the size of a hand,
Encased in gold ornaments like Tutankhamen,
He squeals like a rat, the women adore his racket,
All I see is the blood, her mother pushing
The grief-stricken out,
With screams, her flesh paler,
Now she is the color of rose, as fresh
As the London summer breeze,
Now she is kissing his forehead,
His head the size of a pea.
O little prophet,
Where do these tiny hands come from?
Can you remind me of God
On his throne of spiked steel?
Did you see him, his voice worsening your cry
As you unclasped your hands?
Did you feel his white body
Against your reddened nose?
Were the doctors unsurprised by his light?
Are they used to this sort of thing?