• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 08


She rolled up sleeves of her oil-smeared kameez,
let globular chapatti somersault on flat iron pan;

Mama taught us the meaning of “it’s raining cats and
dogs,” long before it indigenized itself on our bilingual,

bipolar tongues. We have since, in our seven-year-old
mysticisms, called upon the sagacity of fuchsia blue

skies. Whimpering across half-built brick houses,
summer sweats transfusing in freshly cubed

mango aromas: we dreamed together of torrential
downpour; rains gasping frantically for our steadfast

cloud-nines. Just like that we had wished to possess;
control every Undefined, from remaining gossamer

childhood days. Once, in a fleeting moment on
the cemented rooftop, when my brother mimicked

Shoaib Akhtar’s signature bowling style: I saw an oblong
rapturous cage soar towards the depths of stratosphere,

and then it rained cats and dogs. Lots of them. We spread
our olive arms; skinny as the sugarcanes of Faisalabad, and

with painless ease, we unfurled in supple creases of home,
like layers of grief peeling away from a stoic man’s slumbering face.

My brothers whistled their synchronized cue to prepare
for the imminent Wild Hunt, but my cumbersome curiosity

leaned on the corroded railing, wondering what caused a
bulbul bird to shun the freedom of an unhinged soaring cage.