Saturday 26 June 2021

'The New Scarf' by Farhana Khalique

In the mirror of a rain-slicked street, the ground rusts at her feet and a shot of cobalt spills from her head. The metallic paving slats Tetris up around her, chipped like Braille. They match the sheen of her carrier bag, which she clutches under an arm. The bumps on the road glisten like new stars, the white markings like fresh Tipp-Ex.

Naked branches clamour at her back. She stands, a silhouette in a lacquered pool, wondering if she should take it back. The peak of her hijab and the corners of her coat are compact and sensible, like her shoes. But she is bold on a highlighted page. A capital letter in the wake of a full-stopped rain. Planes and lines and horizons criss-cross, perspectives collide and (sub)merge. She waits, mouth open.

Perhaps she’s spotted a rainbow. But the pot of gold is in her bag.

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