rupya

Tehmina Ahmed


Editor's Note: Sometimes, the work one curates falls into a pattern of itself. This is what happened with this month's choice of archival and curated work: Kyla Pasha's poem 'Phoenix' carries references to language, and when Tehmina Ahmed's poem 'rupya' came into my inbox, I realised with delight that they related to one another.

- Ilona Yusuf


rupya


the rupya

is wrought silver

wrought silver

and dross

rupya

sikka

dhela

piye

phooti cowrie

they said was

a shell

devoid of value

spinning

side to side

fires

burn their way

to ash

the tongue speaks

mouth of fire

skin of flame

when age begins

to trace

upon the face

shades of the volcano

the word

will save you

from the abyss





Once an advertising copywriter and psychology teacher, Tehmina Ahmed became an activist, journalist, writer, editor, photographer and filmmaker, in no particular order. She is now a part-time poet and translator.

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