A Plate of Summer by Hafsa Mumtaz

Hafsa Mumtaz | Sep 5th, 2022 | poetry | No Comments


mom’s jaspé hands speckled with flour
the sunset-beige of a roti in the skillet
is the negative eclipse of familial love
asterism of fatigue on her forehead cascades
down her temples
vermillion flames on the stove are the fingers
of summer bequeathing warmth
ripening the roti to just perfectly undercooked
for my mouth to savour the delight of
scrumptious choori* –
a monsoon of desi ghee on a plate
a heatwave of roti whispers to her fingers
a furnace is the insides of a roti
bricks are the hailstones of sugar
sacrificial love is the mural on her fingertips
as they swim into the hot-spring
of the plate
she would say, the best choori is made when a roti is hot
rumbles in the stomach are hermits
anticipating a syzygy of family members
at the dining table – a cassette of memories
plates steamed like dewy mushrooms
on the sandy table mats
afloat on the glass of verdure slab
heat-kissed fingers of my mom
sign the side of my plate
a soft-gold desert of ghee,
a subtle latticework of thawing sugar,
a taste of love,
a dessert of embarrassment,
the flushing swells of her fingertips,
the blistering sweat runs down her clavicles,
the bites of joy run down my throat.
a gustatory heaven is often forged out
of tactile inferno
just like it takes death to free the soul.

* Choori – (local to Pakistan) a kids-favourite dessert made out of half-cooked roti while it’s hot, mixed with ghee and sugar, and squeezed and crumbled by hand. It is served hot.

Poet Bio

Hafsa Mumtaz is a 23-year-old emerging poet and writer based in Pakistan. She is currently doing her M.Phil. in English Literature. Her works (poetry, and short fiction) have appeared in Visual Verse, The Rising Phoenix Review, Women’s Spiritual Poetry, The New Verse News, Poetry Potion, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Terror House Magazine, Ravi Magazine, The Sandy River Review, Couplet Poetry, Corvus Review, and forthcoming in Bewildered Souls Anthology: Volume I, by The Black Inks Publications.

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