Ghazal by by Mona Arshi


Not even our eyes are our own…
– Frederico Garcia Lorca, The House of Bernarda Alba
I want to tune in to the surface, beside the mayfly,
listen to how she holds her decorum on the skin of the pond.

I want to sequester words, hold them in stress positions,
foreignate them, string them up to ripen on vines,

and I want to commune with rain and for the rain to be
merciful, a million tiny pressures on my flesh.

I refuse to return as either rose or tulip but wish
to be planted under the desiring night sky.

I want to be concentrated to a line under the pleat of your palm
and for it to radiate opalesque under shadow.

I want God’s fingers to break and for you to watch as I
fold over my sleeve, reveal the detail of my paling wrist.
(first published in Poetry Review, October 2012)
Mona Arshi was born in Hounslow and lives in West London. She initially trained as a Lawyer and worked for Liberty the UK human rights organisation. She has completed a masters in Creative Writing in Poetry at the University of East Anglia. Mona has been published in a number of magazines including Poetry Review and Magma. Mona’s poem Hummingbird won first prize in the Magma Magazine poetry competition in 2012. She has recently been selected for ‘The Complete Works’, a national development programme funded by the Arts Council. In March of this year her collection was shortlisted by Simon Armitage in the 2012 Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition.