Curated by Mina Malik in her capacity as Digital Guest Editor.
We’ve been here before; Many times in fact. Waking up in the mornings, to the light falling on bones that are not ours. And yet, still, we feel them on our own— As if our parents have been lying to us all this time; And as if there is no need to ration what we share, no need to call presence by any name other than absence. A synonym is not always the same, but the light is always the light. And every turn of an upkept gaze is earned by the simple fact of us living. I had to learn this myself; This, & other things. Like patience. And where on a shoulder is the best place to place a kiss. And where on a shoulder is the best place to place a hand. And how language works—a shoulder becomes a nook. And suddenly, the way the light falls refracts differently. The sun has moved without telling us. And still, we soak; And still, we move our tired bones even closer together.
M. N. Shehryar (they/them) studies urban studies and writing at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. They love cities and their friends, and write about how spaces bring us closer together, or further apart. Their work has been featured in The Aleph Review, and can also be found on @poetrybysheh on Instagram.
The featured artwork is by the Karachi-based visual artist Rabia Farooqui and was published in the second volume courtesy of Studio O in Lahore. Rabia received her BFA from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, majoring in miniature painting.