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Volume 9

Tall Tales - January 2012


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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Pax Nirvana


The coldest fires burn in the distant hearts of the bluest-white stars dripping ((drippy, drip, drip)) from the tarry night sky. These stars are not lies; I would not call them lies. But in the face of your incredulity I hesitate to tell you what they truly are, because, well, I know you would scoff and call me the god-obsessed lunatic I sometimes suspect ((only at night, the deepest night, when the barrier we set between ourselves and our fears is thinnest)) I might indeed be. In spite of your smirk, because of your smirk, I will tell you.

These stars… they are the highest, sweetest notes of the lullabies my mother sang to me whenever I escaped, screaming, from the clutches of one pale-eyed monster or the other into the waiting oasis of her embrace.

Then God heard her sing and He was so moved that He took the highest, sweetest notes of her songs and suspended them from the velvety blackness of space-time; nebulous strands of a divine harp that stretched all across the universe, across all universes. My mother’s voice birthed the bluest, whitest stars; my fiery brothers, my shining sisters, singing her infinite incandescent songs.

Sometimes, now, when I miss my mother’s cool touch on my fevered eyelids, I yearn to pluck those starry strings, so that for a while, my hurt may resonate all across the universe. Alone and eternal, crying for her, for her.

‘Kiss away our tears and heal us, hold us safe in your embrace and promise you will never, never let go.’




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