new names for brown baby girls | Orooj-e-Zafar

after Danez Smith

– the bark of old gum tree
– zulnorain
– palm creases wise with war
– first breath after three funerals
– war-drum in the distance
– allowed to cry above the burial ground
– reborn with the moon
– sworn ode to heaven
– sukoon-e-sujood
– the rustle of dusk close to the sun
– juvenile pinky trying a vibrato on her first violin
– confidante
– pride
– never the burden, never unloved
– the peak of the Lord’s one-part-mercy
– last sob overcome, when you pray
– your only redemption
– orooj
– orooj-e-zafar
– bulbul, always ready to sing
– ashless phoenix
– heart the size of a loosening fist
– unrippled surface of a mountain lake
– peace
– always peace

Orooj-e-Zafar fancies herself a spoken word poet, an aspiring everything and professional overthinker. Most recently, she has been published at By&By Poetry, and Pankhearst’s Slim Volume: This Body I Live In. She is also a poetry reader over at cahoodaloodaling and is currently trying to survive medical school in her hometown, Islamabad, Pakistan.

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