Qurat Dar is an engineering student at the University of Guelph and an emerging author and spoken word artist. She has work currently in Augur Magazine, The Temz Review, and Anathema Magazine, among others, and is a Best of the Net finalist. Qurat is currently part of the Art Gallery of Mississauga’s EMERGENCE artists’ collective. She was also recently a finalist in the 2018 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) and the 2019 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (CIPS), placing 4th and 6th in the country, respectively.
For little more than a fortnight, I find my
mouth full of cherry blossoms,
feel them tumbling out as I pore
over old letters, whisper to people
who don’t understand the flower language,
can’t see the difference between days I speak
black roses and foxgloves, asphodel and anemone,
or marigolds and nettle –
who let petals fall to the ground, crush them under
indifferent feet. I leave a trail of bruised blooms
wherever I go. Jasmine buds in the crossroads of my
veins, finds itself in the corner of my mouth when I
speak the language of my ancestors. Trilliums grow in my hair,
peek out from dark ringlets at a world where
flowers are meant to be cut, bundled, and
presented only where ceremony
When my mother was expecting me,
she dreamt of the Holy Book
and she was so radiant, with the splendor of a new moon, that the world was certain
she’d be blessed with a son.
One of my elders,
I can’t be sure how we share blood (we do, we must to have found each other in a strange land)
dreamt of me, holding a lantern,
as if to lead the way I’d lost.
“Do you dream with a hijab?”
I don’t wake with one anymore, but that doesn’t stop the
duas from finding themselves in my dream-mouth, the verses
I cling to without knowing their meter, or even their meaning,
given more power from their lack of definition, like those terrors I wield them against. I move from one ignorance to another.
The language of poets, the language of dreams,
rattles in my throat, but not in my hands, or even my eyes,
I’m the end of a line. Speaking in the tongues of our destroyers, because scars are hereditary, even with skin unbroken,
blood spilt pulses in the ground, tethering me to words
I’m losing as I wake, and the thrumming subsides
to emptiness, to the inside of a conch shell, a
vacuum I convince myself is normal.
That earth is in my blood, scattering to the winds with every exhale,
I close my eyes and turn to dust.
Sandstorm whispers never stay,
but the touched silence tells me to
stand up straight, push together
the shoulder blades that could draw blood, and open my eyes.