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Rear Window by Mariam Saidan




Stuck to my window

it tells passers-by all they need to know  

little sprouts 

fighting each other 

secretly aiming for the heavens

“burn me sun,

                        take me” 

they’ve only begun to begin 

(but no one can even see)


This window 

a reminder of

unfinished “finished” tasks

continuous crying 

“to live more or 

to make more”


I water my small plate of wheat

supposed to be green for Nowruz


broken cafetière in the sink

instant coffee should do 

the desk-lamp still on, 

light so lost in daylight

“don’t turn me off”


wine-bottle, half empty

full half staring out

small empty bowl holding a spoon inside 


holding tight - 

there’s nothing fine about it.



untouched books


mocking brown little lampstand with a shelf underneath

perfect corner for 

Max Porter, Meena Kandasamy, Jenny Offill, Ali Smith 

                      - they’re allowed to touch, probably don’t need permission to go out


a row of socks on the radiator 

reaching upwards, wilting as the sprouts cry out for sun

life dries inside 

black and white, pink and gold - not flowers but laundry

a t-shirt stretching out, feeling its way to the light


a guitar posing for the room 

happy to be part of this game of 


                trying to be part of this game of 



a surface cleaner

losing its colour in the reflection 

blending in with the mask-wearing runners

              “take me, take me with you”

              “burn me”



I hear steps 


“just around where you live”


(every time you leave your flat)

“just around where you live”


I signed one this morning 


                                                    I join them where we’re gathered 

                                                                               to be distant,


                                                                                            avoid eye contact


                                                    masks make funny noises as they meet

                                                                                         - I can’t breathe -


                                                    coming back,

                                                    my steps feel lighter, getting close,

                                                    contentment creeps in.


                                                                              I can’t see them from here

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