by Aqeela Naqvi

those random moments when you’re walking down the street and all of a sudden: the smell of fresh coals or sweet night air or a whispered summer breeze. and you pause to soak it in because you can’t quite describe it but – there it is – the smell of Pakistan. and something in your blood moves.

motherland, how gracious you are, that even when i have forgotten, you have not.

so that when i close my eyes, i hear your call swaying through golden fields: “you may not live in the perfume of my dust, but the perfume of my dust still lives in you…”

and in a moment of stillness, i remember: the fragrance of my roots, the soil of my blood; the secret laughter of your trees – memories of your ages, dancing gently upon my senses.