I have walked down to the edge
of where the water meets
the water and I have
been turned back there are stones
in the way the cloak remains
in place the mirror is cloudy no
image reveals it
self to me back
I go to bury my dead but my lament
is a song I sing
of your grace I give
you praise I carry
your name the water
from my eyes has etched black
streaks of kajal inking
into my skin
like a permanent
mark I am transformed
with loss a river
bed runs
dry where water flows
only seasonally leaving
a channel still
visible silt
soot surma
the veins

Fatima Malik is a Pakistani-American poet with work in The Georgia Review, The Margins, Waxwing, and others. Since her father’s sudden death, she has been grappling with her grief through her poems. While she currently lives in New York City, her heart is forever in Lahore.