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The Body is a Sin

The Body is a Sin

The Body is a Sin

by Javeria Hasnain

The sin is existing.

When his half-paralyzed limbs moved across his eyes, I touched him by not looking.

I am so often touched. So often moved. And yet remain still.

Like that day,
          when I remained still under you,
when you tried to pin your smallness into me.

I don’t know the you I am referring to.

Nevertheless, consider it an apology for being happy. Consider it an empty hand stretching out at you wanting to remain

It is not desire I desire most often, but pain. Consider this an apology for trying to be happy.

Still, at the end of every day, I am only left with my two hands. Siken’s river is gone, as is Limon’s moon.

The only voice remaining
          is of the stomach growling,
asking for two hands to prepare something satiable.

Still, sinful—these two hands, cupped in prayers the only way
they know how to:

carrying the heart, naked & bruised, asking it to be blackened onto light.

Javeria Hasnain is a Pakistani poet and a Fulbright scholar in the MFA program at The New School, NY. Her poems have been published/are forthcoming in Poet Lore, beestung, The Margins, and elsewhere. She was a finalist for the 2022 The Bird in Your Hand prize and has been nominated for Best Microfiction 2023. She currently works at Cave Canem Foundation.