Literature Manahil Bandukwala Poetry

I love you, kiss me

I am you in your jewel-domed reading room,
I am you in your kayak skimming.
—Phyllis Webb

The sky was inverted. I called you in the bare yellow night.

I am you against the river of clouds,
I am you in an energy current shaking down the kitchen walls,

you in the contrapuntal stream of two trees
racing vertically away from the earth.

The sea was inverted. The sun inverted. The boulders,
electrons, all organic matter.
I called you from the land that is now the sea.

There is no becoming; I always was.

Now all events are kisses, a softness
in the morning before clarity settles in.

You in the exhalations that clear out the day’s old dust,
you, large enough to hold the sun.

The vapour of knowing might be lost, the dream
we never woke from. You,

I am floating in saltwater in our sea that was once land.

Manahil Bandukwala is a writer and visual artist originally from Pakistan and now settled in Canada. She works as Coordinating Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine, and is Digital Content Editor for Canthius. She is a member of Ottawa-based collaborative writing group VII. Her debut poetry collection is MONUMENT (Brick Books). See her work at