when i first learned the brain is mostly fat. by Selina Mahmood
+ foundationalism.                                                                           by
  "               "

i nodded my head in silent agreement
faith is only for the faithful / floating
most problems are self-created
happiness is not wanting to die it’s as simple as that
as a horn held to the table calling itself hoarse for nooses
despite that oddly circulating rumor that your body is a new body in seven years
your body turns over save mind heart muscle blood
your life turns over save mind heart muscle blood
inch by inch
tops of the al-Hamra
we grew so slowly
crumbled so very quickly
soft / not heady
methods of natural inquiry fell prey to social Darwinism
limits & scopes:
i understand you by not understanding me
i understand me by not understanding you
if there are lymphatics in the brain i’d rather you leave as chyle the jugular way
dumped into the heart
rumors rarely turn into prophecies: mind heart muscle blood will be made to turn over
by either faith or science they’re essentially the same anyway
i thought you were stronger than that
taken away so softly
the faithful often fall prey to despair:
grief overflowing with itself
a bruise deepened by a bruise
but if they pick themselves up they pick themselves up
floating
over severed heads and holi



foundationalism.
“Belief and unbelief are just words” —Bulleh Shah

I am
I
I
I
in an Islamabad night as Shab-e-Barat bent I into A sliced it 99 times lifting up to my heart I I I
I had decided this at the outset
beginning to end
beginning to end at last
a note
a point
you’d think i would have left
undeterred
unweaving temporality from desire to unwrap it from fear
unweaving temporality from desire to see your voice
a blue sallow
but believe me
while unwanting want wanting unwant
fear only exists to overturn death
death only exists in fear
existence has always been a question anyway
that we do anything is an affront to reality
that we do anything is a tribute to hope
i sought my mother for the heart after she’d spent the day healing minds
she said evidence is the union of creation and discovery so i remembered beneath the mansooned mango tree
the girl running through rain searching for her parents
soft skin slipping under the ta’wiz turned noose
eyes dreaming of her mother’s embrace
i remembered red bleeding until it turned gold
i remembered aiming for the head but shooting myself only in a dream only in the heart
i remembered the morning after the end
awakening to shadows of pine trees in my mother’s embrace
spirit within spirit
spirit forgiven spirit
too much sense you tip into chaos
too little you create more
neck twisted into a silver sliver
breath curated in thought
circle over the potted salan
burn the Vespas of white silence


Selina Mahmood is a second year Neurology resident in Detroit and has

work published

in The
Manhattanville Review, The Shallow Ends, The Conglomerate and others. She has also written book reviews for HuffPost