the distillation of duality. by Selina Mahmood

“All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses” —Walt Whitman

city of
           heat waves and dust particles
    light
distilled into so many colors—
           gold / gold / gold / gold
           stanced in a way to stay put / quivering

i knew when i had it
lost it—
when it all became the same / collapsed
goldgoldgoldgold

city of hail and monsoon
un-orientalized
          bata teri raza kya hai
     orientalized
i forget how to see ourselves

city of cold fog
  why do we leave? to make home plural
  why do we leave? to leave
  why do we leave? to return

the night i returned i dreamt of so many colors
they built pillars of dust amidst the fire—
gold / gold / gold / gold

                                                          for Fatima


"the distillation of duality" is an example of

a poem

by Selina Mahmood. Selina recently graduated from medical school and has had work published in The
Manhattanville Review, The Conglomerate, Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine, and others. She has also written book reviews for HuffPost. huffingtonpost.com/author/selina-mahmood