If you are reading this

I hope you are going slow,

that the gulls have clasped

their constant beaks. If

the roads are icy, test

the brakes when you are alone

see if you slide. Leave

the fools and cowboys

to their wreckage




if you are reading this

it is time to know when

I put the box together,

I folded the cardboard

as if I was inside the box. I know

there were days you wished

me in the box as well




once driving you to school I forgot

I was taking you to school

and delivered you to work.

The same drive I made daily.

Not because I forgot you were there

but you being made me feel

enough like myself to continue




I could have driven you anywhere

I do not know where we would go

what place at the end of the world

would have been vast and silent enough

for me to take your hand, for me to say.



First published in The Missing Slate (Pakistan), March 2013