Ghost Town

Inhabitants are television extras,
their mouths sour with lupine,
earthworms inch through curdled
vistas; en route to a place where
boughs quaver in water, the aqua-blue
shutters of vacant shops, museums
springing from hardened mush,
where do all the sunsets go when
expunged from the larynx?
A hologram with nails protruding
like the omniscient gaze of a gargoyle,
counts the beads on an abacus,
just like that bodies are annulled;
one after another, it takes a trip
around a ghost town to stand still beside
a virus threat; hands interlocked we lean on
a railing, a bicycle endlessly spirals
on its track like a distraught hornbill.

Hiba Heba is an English-language poet from Pakistan. She is a graduate student of English literature and linguistics. She has a micro-chapbook, Grief is a Firefly, published by Origami Poems Project, 2021. Hiba’s poem “Morning Prayer” is the First Runner-up for the New Feathers Award 2021. Her poems have appeared in Fragmented Voices, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Wild Word, The Ofi Press Magazine, The Punch Magazine, among others. Her debut poetry collection, Birth of a Mural, will be published by Golden Dragonfly Press. She can be found on Instagram as: hiba.heba_.

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