Issue 138 |
Winter 2018-19

No Homeland Ghazal (Emerging Writer's Contest Winner: POETRY)

In dreams, she sees her mother arrive in a land

where the boreal canopy eclipses homeland.


Her first memory of an elk in Jasper, Alberta: its legs

seizing with strength, it gallops toward homeland.


As she reads the Quran, she becomes a rose-ringed

parakeet ascending over bismillah to find homeland.


She is a seed of oleander that wavers forth and back

in the wind, unrooted, belonging to no homeland.


In order to own something, she swallows the yellow

nankhatai rising in the forest of unknown homeland.


Nerium oleander has no clear origin, and it sprouts

next to the African buffalo, also without homeland.


Her loss is the shape of her mother’s longing,

the shape of a lost country once named homeland.


All of this, a wild landscape I could never unlock—

my body inhabits the archipelago of no homeland.