When you went to the waters

When you gave up on earth and went to the waters, what was that grief so large that no human heart could hear, could bear? How long was the journey from your last familiar step to your first unknown one? The element that welcomed you, was it kinder than the one that betrayed you? Were the waters warm, pale blue, speckled with sunlight, or cold and dark like a motherless world? Your pain unprisoned, when it fled the trappings of your last human breaths, did it glide fish-like into the tide? Are you lighter now?
The photograph is of Naima Rashid smiling into the camera. She is dressed in a blue and black coat in a zebra pattern. Behind her is a blurry painting on a wall.

Naima Rashid is an author, poet and literary translator between Urdu, English, French and Punjabi. Her work was longlisted for the National Poetry Competition and Best Small Fictions. Her published and forthcoming books include Sum of Worlds (Yoda Press, 2023-2024), Naulakhi Kothi (Penguin Random House India 2023), Chicanes (Les Fugitives, 2023), Defiance of the Rose (Oxford University Press, 2019), and her own fiction. Her writings have been widely published in Asymptote, The Scores, Wild Court, Poetry Birmingham, RIC Journal and Litro, among others. She is a collaborator with the UK-based translation collective, Shadow Heroes, which teaches young people to embrace all aspects of their linguistic and cultural heritage.

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