The sky is not a mirror
on a freshly dressed day,
the cotton gauze clouds welcome
the blistering birds to come and rest.
I've begun to define beauty not as a sky signaling a skinned summer but rather
but rather, beige
but rather, gentle
but rather, healing.
the monsoon rains come and wilt all memories of myself
washing away with it dried blood
the arrival of an antiseptic afternoon brings with it a realization:
beauty is not a sky that remains unchanged.
the city will have to adapt
to areas where the rain pools or the clouds darken
the sky is not a mirror, but rather
for the way light disperses is out of our control
but what isn't is where we let the dim sun at dawn glow
for once to wait and track
the trail their wounded wings will take
the promise lies of tenderness as a trade for nursing until night
for the city to accept its imperfect sight
Ummama Imran is an in-house writer at Perspective.