In Bloom

Urdu grows in mama’s garden

coriander curried with brinjal

and okra. The r’s elude

my tongue, Nimra’s name

butchered like goats on Eid


Hindi in the next flowerpot

cumin pods roost in soil

dhana zeera go together

you say Namaste

I reply walaikum asalam


Gujarati mint crushed

by bare feet. Words

strung together by

my novice lips, mama says

maari dikri, maari jaan


Arabic a simple face adorned

in makeup, decked with jewels

peel away façade, find

curvatures of meem and noon

Quranic melody

on Qari Sahib’s tongue


Persian fountain

fresh spring of water: Manahil

Manahil Bandukwala

Manahil Bandukwala lives, writes and paints in Ottawa. She is completing her undergrad in English at Carleton University. Currently, she is an editor for In/Words Magazine & Press, and curates the monthly reading series. Her work has appeared in In/Words, Bywords, ottawater, re:asian and Existere, among others. She has work forthcoming in Room Magazine and Ricepaper Magazine. Her poetry appears in 2018.