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•   A BIANNUAL LITERARY MAGAZINE BROUGHT TO YOU BY DESI WRITERS' LOUNGE   •

Volume 7


Outside: Looking In - January 2011


Verse

Asmara Malik

Written by
Asmara Malik

Asmara Malik can usually be found lurking at http://elmara.deviantart.com [link], where she has, to-date, been awarded six Daily Deviations in Literature. She was one of the eight winners of the LUMS Young Writers Workshop & Short Story Contest 2013. She was short-listed for the Matthew Rocca Poetry Award by Verandah, an Australian journal of art, design and literature. Her work has appeared in Karachi: Our Stories in Our Words (OUP, Pakistan), Papercuts, Poets & Artists, Sparkbright, Read This Magazine and Breadcrumb Scabs, among others.

        
      
       
            
              

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The Dream of the Attendant Ant


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These are worker ants — warrior
insectslaves that laze, stretched out upon
such cultured grass, in this midday heat.

On their backs, they are shaded
by this pine which is without sneering
pretensions. It knows — these worker
ants wearing no-color uniforms of paid
slaves, CAMPUS MAINTENANCE stenciled
across their backs, are darkly thundering.
They are waiting: storm-clouds, pregnant
with recrimination. Thus, this petite pine
remains respectful, remains hidden

behind
tall, politely demure shrubbery;
remains hedged in by routinely
clipped-shaped leafy barriers
setting these working ants
against fresh-breathed scions
of Queens.
(sporting designer-eyeglasses
     that render attendant insects invisible,
     casting empty McFlurry cups in their wake,
     “Jaani, her new Nokia is just too,
     TOO common don’t you think?”
     “Yaa, I mean, y’know, everyone’s
     khala has one now, yaar!”)

These ants — they may throw
furtive glances from beneath
no-color, sweat-stained caps
at faces that have never known
lives of quiet desperation. They
may even dream of better lives
some day. But
(shears snipping, snipsnip
    vicious strokes, violent snips
    rebel branches, greedy weeds
    falling dead at their feet)

no,
I suppose,
by now, even
worker ants – held
hostage by paycheck –
know better.

 

 

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