Zarnab Tufail

distant memories of childhood monsoons

our governmental residence in suburbs of gujranwala
had a giant balcony where summer nights held the moon all night
at nine, life was nostalgic as if i were already living memories within brick walls
the gloom, denser than air, sat heavily on my still-growing shoulders
was it our tired luggage sighing after our fifth move or my parents relationship - i couldn't decide
a picture dictionary i dreamt through had garage sales on page 67,
old books for $2 - used clothes for $4 - unwanted suitcases for $1
americans would sell their dead parents' photos if they could, my mother would always remind us
while she ironed the pink kameez she wore to her college graduation
& i rearranged my first grade workbooks again & my brother emptied the raged suitcases
the houses we lived in had more memories of those suitcases than the family that dreamt of a future
lived like nomads until they had a home & they didn't know what to do with it.


Zarnab Tufail is a 19-year-old WoC from Lahore, Pakistan. She is the co-founder of The Walled City Journal and a poetry reader for Random Sample Review. Her work has been published in Coven Edition, In Parentheses, and elsewhere. More of her work can be found at