Mahta Riazi

Pumpkin Nothing ever toppled, only sank. Rememberthe river with each bank greener than the other?the story of a mamani rolling through the forest inside a pumpkin?the time I asked you to sing to me through your missing front teeth? Before there wasn’t a sisterhood, there was.And even now I can’t refusethe spectacle of the open car window,the swift unspooling of a city. You become the exhale of my memory,the pointed needle of these dandelion seeds. I fumble in my pockets for something that might make the stars shine backwards. Our cardboard homes cave in on each other.The moth moves away from the lightbulb.The pumpkin splatters by the wolf’s sorry feet. We are grateful not to be motherless but still something isn’t right here. A sheep in wolf’s clothing.Both of us perhapssofterthan we wanted to be.Red-hooded.Fairy-taled. There must have been lullabies once, through gapped smiles, before the silence that we cannot ribbon back into our memory, despite the way we pause when we see a certain shade of pink. Take me only to the brink and no further, no further.

Mahta Riazi (she/her) is an Iranian/Canadian poet, community worker and educator currently based in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal) on the unceded territories of the Kanien’kehá:ka. She is passionate about friendship, tea, and longboarding. She is interested in the arts as a way to re-connect communities and re-learn our histories. Her writing is centered on themes of complex family dynamics, home, and loss. Her poetry appears in inQluded magazine, Voicemail Poems, Headlight Anthology, and Yolk literary magazine.