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AUESTA SAFI

 

 

 

Auesta Safi is from Sterling, Virginia. In 2015 she received her MFA in poetry from the University of Wyoming; her work appears in The Colorado Review and The Chattahoochee Review. A previous editor of The Owen Wister Review, she is now co-editor of Passenger.

 

 

 

 

A Dream of Death Before a Burial

 

 

When the sky over my house
became bands of flamingo, cantaloupe,
and the maple trees were bare
except for the heavy songs of mourning
doves,  Izra’il stood outside the window
of the bedroom my grandmother
and mother slept in.
My mother said he took the form of a man
and he wore a kaftan. When she told me this
I envisioned his robes pillowy
over his plump body, his face kindly.
That he might have been found
in the Freer Gallery of Art
in their collection of illustrated manuscripts
from the Islamic World, in a painting from Herat.
That he might have been a man
from my grandmother’s homeland,
sitting with his knees crossed
holding a rubab under a tree flush
with pomegranates. That his silk robes
might have been green with gold details,
and that he looked royal when he extended
a hand to welcome my grandmother
into that kingdom of milk rivers,
mansions of recompense. But this was not my dream.
My mother said Izra’il had a sharp
face. That it was either tired or mean.
That he had deep set eyes, which made me
remember one evening, coming home
from a wedding, I told my mother
I thought the brother of the groom
was handsome. My mother replied that men
with deep set eyes were not to be trusted.
In her dream Izra’il did not extend a hand.
He was not kind. When he flung his robe
over his shoulder and turned his face away
my mother woke up and my grandmother stopped
breathing. For a moment the sun stopped
rising and the distant clouds gathered to rain.

 

 

©2017 Auesta Safi

 

 

Author Links

 

Passenger, co-edited by Auesta Safi

 

 

 

 

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