the night before she became tucked into the ground,
my mother flickered a smile at me
and i caught it like a wildfire.
this is the nearest i have been to grief—
though, it is a badge every poet wears proudly in this country
each person here owns an archival material to the concept.
that this laughter mother’s face wielded
was later to become the dust invading
my nose, choking me to the extent my eyes
gave way to tears is incredulous. i tried to incarcerate everything
in my body, the dreams i spat on her callused palms—
but what essence is an illusive hope crashing at every face of reality?
three years after she left the world, i bumped into her album,
let my fingers savour the photographed body that hampered me
from becoming another shooting range a soldier fired
in a land where smiles serrated the teeth of khaki men
at the expiration of richly-cloaked boys. i sat at the window
watching the albatrosses that glided past. i wanted to pluck
one from the sky and whisper into her ears: if ever you see
mother wherever you fly, say her son is still here like a wingless bird
waiting for its mother to teach it how to fly and not wreck.