lahore is a love story my sister paints
anarkali and jahangir sit on mosque roof
people in rows beneath lower
then rise with imam’s call
watch young boys fly kites
for basant / orange fills the sky

in history this place is unlittered
is shaded haven for strays
is tranquil
is where we buy flower petals
and a chance at romance
end up bricked in a wall

i know anarkali from scrapped syllabus
i know lahore as stopover for visa trips
dadi’s home exists beyond four sides
of canvas / girl must leave eventually

retreat into the alleyway
visit sabzi mandi with head covered
black wisps peek out

Manahil Bandukwala is a poet and artist. Her first chapbook, Pipe Rose, came out with battleaxe press in 2018, and her second chapbook, Paper Doll, is forthcoming with Anstruther Press. Her work has appeared in the Puritan, Room Magazine, Coven Editions, and other places. See more of her work at