Intercity Ghosts

My life tells me she wants me, each day, to bring her fresh flowers plucked from my throat. I’m beginning to give myself this gift of decision - the year shall be one of rescue. My body was built for love, the spring sun tips its cup into my mouth. Now in Lahore, my body a conduit for grace, I remain haunted by other cities. The ghosts are me, the ghosts are me but not now. I live distributed in memory in moment. The words I carry across the river mistake me for an old friend vivifying me. My suns are crossed. It took me a year to forget London by heart – now I am convinced London only lives when I am there to see it. I have trouble holding things these days; the glass of the broken pepper mill sliced clean through several layers of skin so that my thumb now opens like a book.
So steady the hand that carries the blade that carries the sentence forged in the jaws of silence. I drive everyday now, consenting to this union with machine as I lower myself onto the city’s legs. At night, I carry my grief lovingly to our bed. Long ago, this city will have sucked me dry. I still sweat as if embraced by Karachi but always I am embraced by what I see as Karachi in Karachi. Fearing the day there’ll be nothing to drink but saltwater and music, my lips crack and split open over whispers of old prayers. So settled, sorrow’s most jagged tooth in the borrowed shoulder of song. The year is a year of rescue. It is spring and not yet spring - I have waited. Flat like layers of tyre on the road, I am levelled by the city’s presumption of my survival.
The black and white photo shows Ibrahim Tanweer standing in front of a wall with peeling paint and bricks, looking into a camera. He has a mustache and a close beard and is wearing glasses and a light shirt. Behind him is a tall tree and the sky, and on the right a side of a house is visible.

Ibrahim Tanweer is a writer and educator. Originally from Multan, he is currently based in Lahore where he resides with his partner and cat. 

Scroll to Top