One forty-five AM
I fill the grey silhouette of your absence
with Camus and Kafka, and at times
Dostoyevsky and Murakami come to save me.
Manto1 never leaves my back and
neither does Faiz2. We all share our
dirty, dark secrets at this lonely hour.
The handsfree feeds me with one metal song
after another; my eardrums hurt. The three tiny bones inside
beg me to lower the volume, I ignore their pleas.
My thigh muscles scream for rest; the workout
routine ties me to life.
I am stronger than I think and
weaker than you have thought.
My nails dig in the flesh of my palms, tear the
curtain of the unholy skin whenever
you cross my mind. Blood flows out, your hijr
smiles at me: my heart skips a beat, limbs get numb.
I recite your name like a prayer,
increase the volume of the song and
start another book.
*(Urdu) Separation from beloved
1A famous Urdu short story writer
2A renowned Urdu poet
Kainat Azhar is a Pakistani writer and illustrator hiding behind the mask of a computer science major. She tweets at https://twitter.com/Kainat_Azhar.