Ayesha Raees


Some names divide in bleached mouths. Some bodies exist in no choice. The ghost was once a body. The ghost was once a repulsive thing. The ghost and I make out on my couch. When I think of form, I think of a sack. Every sack doesn’t have a fetus. Every fetus has a mother. The womb is a vessel. The womb is a home too small to climb back into. Yet, in every drown, I am in forever try. Once the sky turns color, the hand rises to trace it to a horizon only to become a shadowed fist against the light. No one believed the ghost in the corner was a good ghost. No one ever believed me. The water ices and then melts. The family laughs and then dies. All strangers befriend me and then line up to leave from JFK. Who wants debris when there’s always rock? In the bottom of a frozen lake, is my friend. Call her Fish. At the corner of the road, is my friend. Call him Deer. Falling asleep on a pill, is my friend. Call her Respite. Leaving the roof, a vessel of no wing, is my friend. Call her Off. What is there pulsating in the sky? My eyes are too weak to see the end to all this distance. The ghost is a forever thing. Forever is as long as me. When I think of my dead friends, I become forever not alone. In front of me is a beautiful day– genuflecting for my forgiveness.

AYESHA RAEES identifies herself as a hybrid creating hybrid poetry through hybrid forms. She was a 2018-2019 Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop where she also now serves as an Assistant Poetry Editor. Her work has appeared in The Margins, Apogee, Cagibi, Wilderness, Cherry Tree, and elsewhere. Raees was shortlisted for the Judith Akbar Poetry Prize and won the University of Findlay’s Deanna Tully Contest. Her work has further been supported by the Millay Colony For the Arts, Brooklyn Poets, and AAWW. Raees is a graduate of Bennington College, and currently lives in New York City. Her website is: