by Shadab Zeest Hashmi
as if it were the aromatic ash
of a celestial tree, powder of
solemn oaths and scintillation of star-
light even between locked horns— hennaed,
she looks at how the cities written on
her palm are shaped to shelter his heart, how
the sugar syrup binds semolina,
cardamom, and saffron— the flame high, mélange
of moti choor sculpted into a globe
of shattered pearls, his hand, a sea, her eye, star.
Shadab Zeest Hashmi is the winner of the San Diego Book Award, Sable Books’ Hybrid Book Prize, the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize, and has been nominated for the Pushcart multiple times. Her poetry collections include ‘Kohl and Chalk’ and ‘Baker of Tarifa’. Her poetry has been translated into Spanish, Turkish, Bosnian, and Urdu, and has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals worldwide, most recently in McSweeney’s ‘In the Shape of a Human Body I am Visiting the Earth’.
Andreas/SurrealGradients is a 23-year-old self-taught digital artist. His artworks are an escape into surreal worlds and by the use of photo manipulation, his artworks come to life. Some of his collections are available on OpenSea.