“lord, i worry / that love is violence.”
                                       —Jose Olivarez

Love shows itself again while I’m in
traffic. Words like خم & زلف& سنبل
are not only beautiful again,
but near. I can actually imagine
the hyacinth-curve of your hair—a thin
sheath of dark-brown veins covering
my view of the world. I like it better this
way, I suppose. Everything obscure. Dark-brown
is a beautiful color, then. I only wish
it was darker still. This city of concrete
jungle becomes less ugly to me. The کیکر follows
me like your absence, & is no less beautiful.
Is this how love shows you? Taint as tint.
City as a toddler—not feeble—still
learning to crawl. The rubble of stone as ravishing.
To write about love is to observe
everything unhidden, transparent, exposed.
But my view, it is as if this world is an abandoned
field, blanketed in mesquite, forever altering.
This green serpentine, stunning, for all that.
Devi everywhere. Sanskrit for goddess. What power
to hold. What beautiful name to call something
so completely ravaging, inflammable.

Javeria Hasnain is an incoming MFA student at The New School on a Fulbright scholarship. She is a Pakistani poet whose poems can be found in AAWW’s The Margins, Gutter magazine, Superstition Review, and elsewhere. She lurks on twitter @peelijay.