A Poem: Betrayals

By Shadab Zeest Hashmi


Shadab Zeest Hashmi

Who stepped on my wings
my tea-stained
dog-eared wings
when I was climbing up the library ladder?

Who trapped the dove
when it rode the fox?

The fox runs through the forest
like a red bullet
belly full of lies
in fine print

The dove feeds out of boxes
then on the boxes

O the fine print

You know the top shelf always made me giddy:
dove fox dove fox dove fox
Now the stranglehold

The boot on my wings

Shadab Zeest Hashmi’s book Baker of Tarifa won the 2011 San Diego Book Award for poetry. Her work has appeared in Poetry International, Vallum, Nimrod, The Bitter Oleander, Journal of Postcolonial Writings, The Cortland Review, South Asian Review, New Millennium Writings, RHINO and other places. She has been nominated for the Pushcart prize twice, and has taught in the MFA program at San Diego State University as a writer-in-residence.

Betrayals was selected by SDFP contributor Karen Kenyon.