Friday, 1 February 2013

Sudden Prose Reprints: "Coke and Other Lies" by Shazea Quraishi

Coke and Other Lies

When I look in the mirror I see the wrong face. 

My sister’s hair shines like a summer lake with swans.  And when she speaks, it’s like those gusts of air you get in the spring, smelling of green.

Since he left, Mom’s lips have no colour and she reminds me of that albino kid who packs groceries at Doug’s Mini Mart.  She cries on the foldout couch.  I stroke her hair.  There, there. 

My sister wraps her hair around Coke cans when it’s wet, so when she takes it out, it looks like in the movies.  Mom says she’s wasting her time. 

You know the man who sweeps up after the show?  He said my eyes were the green of the pond at the end of his garden.  He said, Come, see.

Shazea Quraishi
first published in Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics

Shazea Quraishi is a poet, translator and creative writing tutor whose poems have appeared in The Financial Times, Poetry Review, and Modern Poetry in Translation, among others. She works with English PEN's Readers & Writers programme in refugee centres and prisons, and also teaches Improving English through Creativity at a refuge for south Asian women. Quraishi is presently adapting The Courtesans Reply, a long poem sequence published as pamphlet by flipped eye publishing in 2012, as a play.