I Want A Poem

I want a poem
with the texture of a colander
on the pastry.

A verse
of pastry so rich
it leaves gleam on your fingertips.

A poem
that stings like the splash of boiling oil
as you drop the pastry in.

A poem
that sits on a silver plate with
nuts and chocolates, served up to guests who
sit cross legged on the thoshak.

A poem
as vibrant as our saffron tea
served up at Eid.

Let your poetry
texture the blank paper
like a prism splitting light.

Don’t leave without seeing all the colours.

Shukria Rezaei arrived in Oxford at fourteen, a refugee from Taliban persecution of her Hazara people in Pakistan border regions of Afghanistan. Contained, careful, and ironical, Shukria started writing poems in English almost before she had the words to do so, bringing a gift for image and rhetorical vehemence from her Persian heritage. Over four years, she developed into a truly remarkable poet, and has seen her work published in Oxford Poetry among others.