Four Poems by Shazia Hafiz Ramji

Vigil (or, Ordinary Stranger)

“It was a quiet sound, but it woke me up because it was a human sound.”
From “The Man on the Stairs” in No one belongs here more than you by Miranda July.


To watch one close. To
you, seeking to see
hope some semblance
of you in your lover’s
eyes, a nerve wreath.


Exposure of soft
evidence a desiring
and the beginning
of waning; too much.


For the seeping sense
of arrhythmia leaping
to cross the nocturnal:
space, a questioning.


Is absent solidity
swung in the radii
of seeing the way:
an unspeaking; death.

Less Homely

after Kafka.

my house unfinished
thoughts hung from the ceiling

borne of either latticed dust
or species of delicate spider

mining for the drooping bend
that light curve that swayed

with the breath. of guests in
fleeing like the hobo with

a tarpaulin diaphragm, a swell
in my chest the rise of guilt

trapped. how to draw the line
for gymnasts of a sheltering

when nothing rent hangs above
both curvatures of space decay.


The things I refer to have holes;
imprints of the moon’s ocular lick,
tongue budded absorbing breath

— between kisses, this is time
for interpretation a need, to read
after a fullstop — night

shaken, powdered stars drizzle
into a trembling body taut
on your voice resigning
to lazy revelation.

Root person in root place

after a line from The Maximus Poems by Charles Olson

my muse said: hey man,
do you want to come
over and smoke some
hydroponic bud, I said
yes I see atlantis
when we pass main st.
skytrain, station the view

for he is none
other than this false
creek where I am an
other, fine with being
stolen, ancient sun
skimming roygbiv
fish scales on the tips
of eyelashes, two people
are better then; honesty
reflected in the battling
rigid one, ultima thule.

Profile: Shazia Hafiz Ramji