Creative Writing Ink December 2019 Winner

Of Righteousness and Sin

Ayesha Asad


At dusk,

I take my prayers

and cradle them to my heart,

watching them slip into volant arrows

from my papery fingertips

and                                                                                  slink up a tree,

                                                                                        where they flutter, untethered

and groan into the undulating leaves.

After they dust grit off their wings, they rise –

flaunting grimy veins and enriched bark – and

float past the ocean, where turquoise sea-glass

                                    puckers their starry bodies.

Mujib’s wizened stump corrugates, bows its head

as they pass by, and I wish I could hear its soft, keening wails.

When they reach the clouds, the mist

folds itself around them, spraying out

golden, glistening tears.                                               I imagine them

sucked                                                                             into smoldering eggshells,

                                                                                         crackling with flame,

                                                                                         their stellar mass

                                                                                         disappearing into

                                                                                         heaven’s ravines.