rose and daisy
Invisible Rose
by Sheikha A.

In the way daisies encircled
the boundaries of your castle,

the absentminded gardener
of my poor-brained heart

dared the feat of growing
myself amidst her,

a one flower, against
the insuperable populous

called daisy, didn’t you see me
wearing the rain

on the day of her visit,
when you deemed worthy
of catching the chills for her,

and dropped me like a coin
on the porch, while pulling out
a handkerchief to wipe

away the breaking sweat for her,
didn’t you see me grow

in the colour of your cheeks,
the burn of your blush found

in me for her, you averted your eyes
from allowing me to learn

the colour that shone like a clean
polished jewel

those that you collected
in many boxes for her

didn’t you see me hang
in your boutonniere, pale

as the blood in your hands
that went cold

in anticipation of her touch,
even on the day your blood flowed

a stream of daisy in your pool
as life defeated your eyes

didn’t you find me
in your sinuous breathing
that shivered

her name on your lips, I was
the fleeting warmth of

your mouth the tongue of which
tasted her escapism

from glittering walls
to wooden casket,

didn’t you see me

clung to your tombstone,
far from your gardens

by which only the smell of rain
and her betrayal fogged

and my weeping body, the petals
shed like an age-long wait

for my whispers to ripple louder
than hers

that called out your name,
for you to look

and find me by the pier, the place
when I first saw you

your eyes like emeralds reflecting
the green of her domain

as I tried becoming the air
that hugged your coats

didn’t you find me

becoming one with your scent —

PHOTO: Rose & Daisy bouquet.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My character is Rose, the girl who yearns for Gatsby [The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald], despite knowing of his undying yearning for Daisy. Earlier, I thought I’d probably have Gatsby respond to Rose’s yearnings but then realized that the beauty of longing is in never quite winning, but in the continuous losing. Since I perceive the book as a quagmire of intense emotions, most of which are probably unspoken, I tried bringing Rose out as part ghostly — because that is exactly what she would’ve been if she were a real character in Gatsby’s life —  never any space for a third. And, perhaps, also my attempt at highlighting the truth how love rarely wins to get what it wants.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sheikha A. currently lives in Karachi, Pakistan, after moving there from the United Arab Emirates, and believes the transition has definitely stimulated a different tunnel of thought. She is the author of a short poetry collection titled Spaced [Hammer and Anvil Books, 2013]. Her work appears in numerous publications and anthologies, and she hopes for her poetry to be read and discussed widely. She also edits poetry for eFiction India. Her poems can be tracked via her blog