By Noorulain Noor
We wake up, our bones
lead under water,
our muscles taut
around the gauntlet of joints.
The wholeness of our bodies
shocks us. We look at our palms,
the shriveled skin over our elbows,
the curvature of our calves—
this affliction must only be felt
and not seen. Outside,
the sky is the same unremarkable blue.
An autumnal breeze passes over the apple tree,
its scant leaves rustle in protest.
There is a customary line of cars
at the traffic signal, sparrows
have taken their usual perch
all along the power lines.
Noorulain, a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, is a member of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. Her poetry explores themes of identity, multiculturalism, and the immigrant experience and has appeared in Spillway, Sugar Mule, Santa Clara Review, and Muzzle. Raised in Lahore, Pakistan, Noorulain lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.