"I sank a marriage of stone and water": Four poems by Sophia Naz

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"I sank a marriage of stone and water": Four poems by Sophia Naz

"No one sleeps now on the roof / Where moonlight once cured a rose"

Hero (n)

From here on, walk like a heron, long
slow measure of who and hue, undue late

calligraphy against a debt of blue
a gait as liquid letterhead to head

with fate of hapless grub down elongate
curve and narrow strait, what tides

like death come from the sway, hypnotize
as the best storytellers do

say can you see the way the white
flag unfolds and folds, in vest meant

a surrender perfect as a nestled heart


Wish Fulfilling Tree

I dreamed a tree at river’s edge,
evergreen, sweet shade, refuge leafing
through analog skin

Sueño, subtle pollen’s kiss, entwined on limb
fragrant thigh, & I, my lover’s creeper, yet reverie
succumbs, unable to become, wish-fulfilling swelling tree
the fruit of labor pains

Too much, death by paper cuts
close to bone I lean on
stuff of monsoon swings and songs
memory, a tree, unrolling
stone, lost heart-
beats on a vinyl grove

Mother tree, mango breasts
father tree, stern sandal-
wooden fore, head underhand & snake to climb
booty, tree, god framing knee, uncapped vault
tree as everything that’s me
drinking routes, watering
place, the crux, body
bursting  into bud

What of these trampled flowers? What of the fist sized rose
made blood? Tree at crossroads, loggerheads, rushing
rapids, no arbol adentro
safe, harbor or embankment
sharks on the cards, default
falling seasons sound, dominoes murmur, weigh

Lay the Wish Fulfilling Tree, alone, denuded
of drapes like Draupadi would be, were she not
wrapped in smug paternal, *Azadirachta
what a sham(e). Since when
has a tree been free? Stripped down to teeth
a skeletal sentinel keeps vigil
beckoning butterflies, summoning
immovable doves.

* Latin name of the neem tree, derived from the Farsi, Azad darakht-é-Hind


Out of Camera


Torn as a blue jay who pecks
at the sky to replenish

A lost feather I captured
the angel of memory, he

of clear glass wings in which
a vein of wind would whistle

and mornings come unmoored
as doves on the eaves of dreams


No one sleeps now on the roof
Where moonlight once cured a rose

Petal jam placed at the center
of India, triangular

as folded betel leaf
in the mouth and you will find her

Blackened gum and all the stations
Of the moon’s midnight express

A desolate landscape, the bones
Of a lush, language picked clean.



I swallowed a marriage of fog and sunlight. A teardrop flowered

I rained a marriage of wind and plum blossom; kissed the ground beneath my feet

I heard a marriage of mourning dove and morning and became an anthology of exile

I sensed a marriage of night and silence. Solitude blind as an earthworm burrowed in my veins

I sank a marriage of stone and water and became a syllable in the ocean’s throat


Sophia Naz is a bilingual poet, essayist, author, editor and translator. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, 2016 for creative nonfiction, 2018 for poetry.  Her work features in numerous literary journals and anthologies. Her poetry collections are Peripheries (2015), Pointillism (2017) and Date Palms (2017).  Shehnaz, her biography of her mother published from Penguin Random House in November 2019.

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