A Poem


Two Birds of Paradise
On the Tree of Life
Dazzle the wall above
His king-size bed

He names the female bird
After my cousin Sofia
Heartless tease at fourteen
I too fancy her

Feigning sleep in his bedroom
On a corner chaise
My fingers tremble
Above combed fringes

Perched on a branch
The male yearns for flight
His one-eyed gaze fixed
Upon Grandfather’s hand

Fondling Sofia on the bed
The female flutters in midair
Plumes fanning out
Brilliant madder dyes

by Rafiq Kathwari, guest poet at 3Quarks Daily.