‘The Real Lonely kind’ by Afshan Shafi


‘Coquetry is a triumph of the spirit over the senses’ Coco Chanel


Somethings are too unlovely

to discover. the commonest toad

has its emerald articulations to suffer.

it has perhaps a comely defense, many pale islands of symmetry

coffer its gnarled loom.

Brown-nose girls in plaid stockings and glitter alice bands,

barter their subtleties

girls who cart Aurelius’s meditations in their thousand dollar


Girls with feet in tourmaline crocodile cuissardes.

girls who battle the ‘mean reds’ and blonde ramschackle



Though they falter on the nail that tacks the body to

its dull velvet,

everything in motion blunders along the

sweet and shiny substance of the morning churning.

at home in this kind of solitude, attended to by swans,

they say the light is different in each country,

about this they are wrong.

they say coquetry is the art that keeps civilization,

glossy and at canter,

about this they are right.

The world curves and flowers in its warp of cheap leather,

its deep knots of meat are  byzantine amulets.

the world’s light is  grainy,

the acanthine rain; its palinode to anxiety

it is an an aghast and unbloody gloom.

I hold out my wrist, i see a  shy covetous

snake at home in its solitude,

groomed in mercy

purest animal in water, it

is flushed with hot corroding gold.

Though green the water that suffers the object,

the heraldic beast,

flits in agitation for a moment

and then proceeds to eat the palm,

It severs the weird apricot grease,

its ensconced brunt of letters and brass crosses

It swallows the singed flanges whole,

leaves the arm and blood of the body gaping,

pitted of speech , of volition

of impetus to even

soldier a tear.

Afshan ShafiPoet’s Bio: Afshan Shafi lives in Lahore, Pakistan and has studied English Literature and International Relations at The University of Buckingham and Regent’s University London. Her poems have appeared in 3am magazine, ditch, Full of Crow, The Toucan, Mad Swirl, Visual verse, Black heart magazine and others. Her debut collection of poems ‘Odd Circles’ was published by Readings (Pakistan) in 2014. She is the editor of  the forthcoming Abbreviate Journal.

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