the distillation of duality. by Selina Mahmood

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

city of
           heat waves and dust particles
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

city of hail and monsoon
          bata teri raza kya hai
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

Selina Mahmood 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.