The jade green coat with a hood. There’s nothing more pleasant than the shine of the coat once rain hits it, the starkness between the jade and dry leaves. The dirt coats her soles, begging her to sink deeper. The wind howls and leaves flutter by her. A clear puddle reflects clouds and a blurry face. Silver light and a rippling puddle- so much better than mirror with hard edges. It hasn’t gotten the time to talk back .She touches scarred skin and old memories. Tree roots and lightning in water all you can see is only silver brilliance.
I walked through a graveyard with a friend and saw a man in black standing by a gravestone. He’d move around but he was always facing the gravestone. He’d smile and cry but really his eyes looked dead.
My friend said “He waits by his grave”. I was afraid and walked faster till I saw more people standing by gravestones.
“They are standing guard” she said. I walked faster and further through the crowd, that now had all kinds of people, waiting by their deaths.
I walked till I left my friend behind at her grave and reached my own.
The mirror house was from those movies they told you not to watch, where frightened victims leave clouded mirrors while a man with a knife follows.
I remember the night outside, thick with mist and the moon dropping low like a spider ready to snatch it’s prey. I hear their shouts trying to find me. Their flashlights reveal armies of fellow pursuers all bouncing off the corners, all on their own quests.
I put my hand against the mirror. Its deceitful icy cold gave way to warmth. Mine.
Time has taken a thousand moons hence, but the mirrors cradle my sleepwalking soul, my happy silhouette, ever elusive across the glassy cold.
Abdul cannot remember anything.
The questions are rare now because they know a “No” will invariably follow. Occasionally there are flashes in those glassy eyes but who would notice? Now and then images will consume him.
Bright robes dirtied by runs through the markets. Seated figures and gossip under the old mango tree. Their wares spread out on rough cloth, they watch him fly his silk kites and ignore the cuts the thread gives him.
“No” he repeats to no one as he looks out his window. Surely the city and roads of tar were always there. “Surely I dreamt.”
A face behind the glass. Eyes shut and face made up. Like a corpse on it’s way to another world. She was colored grey by the glass.
Car’s honk and rev their engines. The signal isn’t red anymore. A girl run off the road, finding her bearings. She reaches for her coins; she still needs more money.
A woman wakes, feels cold in the air conditioned air and see prints of a little girls hands on her window.
He was ever humble, hesitant to tell the world about himself. Or so he thought.
He launched into a long rant about his life. He talked about his job, his friends, his dreams and how he couldn’t do it anymore. He wasn’t just another politician. He turned and saw a nodding head so he went on.
He thought to himself, quiet for a moment. Before the figure on the chair could get a word in, he spoke again. He marveled at his own strengths, at how he’d seen his death.
Outside his bother explain another patient “Schizophrenia, such a cruel affliction,”
The power was out but I blew out the oil lamp anyway. I was afraid of it spilling over and coating the floor with flames. Well, more flames than that I expected.
We were blind to world, all I heard was my brothers sniffling and the hiss of the oil lamp. The dust whispers till I heard thunder. My brothers draw close but I know there’s no point. I wonder what’s it’s like up there, when nothing looks down on you.
Boom after boom I hear the world collapse. We go deaf while fire’s born, listening to Bombs over Baghdad.