Ode to You Looking at Yourself Naked by Momina Mela

When you go home             tonight

& take all your               clothes off in front

of the mirror           let your body steam humid as


              a teacup


let the traffic outside           hum in

your ribcage              hide & seek brake

lights intensifying             adjacent to


                     muscle, terse


ruptures of sighs           proclaim

an existing               existence too occupied


         by nerve


my dearest estranged          fraction-

yield                wholly      

to earth pull             stay hung as


                 a willow


over the yank & heat of skin         bravely

gather slim runs of                  salt across belly

heave & hip              swell


                          of thigh


a moth circles your torso         wings splayed to

inhabit some bone         knee crack


         incessant walnut


empty out each polemic         slap shut the            

unbuckled husk                     these are yours                

you can stare


                                  all you want.


Momina Mela is a Pakistani poet from Lahore. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Horse Less Review, The Blueshift Journal and The Lighthouse Journal amongst others. She serves as the Poetry Editor for Papercuts, a publication run by Desi Writers’ Lounge. She holds a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature from Goldsmiths, University of London. She will begin her MFA in poetry at NYU in the fall of 2016 as a full scholarship recipient. 

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