What stung the most
was not the betrayal.
It was the neatness of design,
the cold angles of the plan
carried out at my expense.
The time I found out
seconds before leaving the house,
they were chuckling in the kitchen.
‘Better start tending to the house,
the lady of the house is about to leave’,
he pecked her on the cheek.
After she left, he took to gardening
to drown his sorrow,
insisted on watering the patch
where I had planted a new mint.
He beamed at the first sprigs,
using them at any excuse –
garnish for his omelet,
zing for his tea,
bedside bouquet to help him sleep.
The dust has settled on her,
the past buried.
Your fling is history, turned to fossil,
you still bask in her perfume every day,
take your pick of warped cliché,
your choice of smart-ass quip,
since we are in a joust
of poetic justice.
The mint you tend to daily
has the dust of her bones
in the mix.
Naima Rashid is a writer and translator. Her first book, Defiance of the Rose (Oxford University Press, 2019) was a translation of selected verses by Pakistani poet Perveen Shakir from Urdu into English. Her writings have appeared in Asymptote, The Scores, Poetry at Sangam, Wild Court, and other places. She was long-listed for the National Poetry Competition 2019. She is a collaborator with the translation collective, Shadow Heroes.