New Poetry for Side A: “into the looking glass” by Sarah Aziz

into the looking glass

and stumbling into you, father
-land. your breath lances through

me like a friday afternoon scolding.
she traces my crooked nose, and cuts

her fingertip on the wanton marbles
swishing in your mouth. I understand

you, which is to say, I am you: swaddled
in a dream of pink, a moth eating into a

pair of shorts borrowed like blinking love &
receding like a hollow tide lest the fire doesn’t

deliquesce into your mouth like pomegranate &
eating sand, learning to relish the grains of feldspar

on your tongue like your grandmother’s floating
Bangla rhymes, a sliver of mango crushed. I tell my

-self, you are grief. My grief, flitting like a raven on the
hospital bed: a will scribbled on a half-opened biscuit

wrapper. I learn to pine for you at every hint of darkness,
clamoring to fly like a savior because I could never save

You, fed me, father-bird, and now the floating shadows on
my retina are sandstorms, which is to say, I have your eyes.

Mini-interview with Sarah Aziz

HFR: Can you share a moment that has shaped you as a writer (or continues to)?

SA: I had begun writing when I was seven, but gave it up soon after for more reasons than one. Not surprisingly, it was my seventh grade English teacher whose constant encouragement gave me the confidence to pursue writing again.

HFR: What are you reading?

SA: Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and American Primitive by Mary Oliver.

HFR: Can you tell us what prompted “into the looking glass”?

SA: Two words: intergenerational trauma.

HFR: What’s next? What are you working on?

SA: Right now, I am putting together my very first poetry chapbook! It should be complete soon, InshaAllah.

HFR: Take the floor. Be political. Be fanatical. Be anything. What do you want to share?

SA: Poets still have the potential to be the greatest revolutionists. There, I said it. 

Sarah Aziz is a poet, journalist, translator, and illustrator based in Kolkata, India. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in English Literature at Loreto College, University of Calcutta. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Voice of America, Mantis, and New Delta Review, among others.

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