Let your craft, that was once a larch-tree’s spine
Adrift upon guilt’s cold languid current
Whirling slowly and surely to the whine
Of sinews and oars straining until shent

Let your craft, that was once an entling’s tree
Creak crack crumble until your ink-lined oar
In a desecrated language’s grip be
Splintered, and cast upon the stony shore

Of unrelenting never-quite remorse
That cries “Aye, what I did I would again
For the same stakes; let just wrath run its course,
Forever and a day bind me to pain”


Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, a teacher of French as a foreign language and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in The Mojave Heart Review, Third Wednesday, Brine, and a number of other literary magazines. Studying life, languages and literature from a comparative perspective across linguistic and cultural boundaries holds a particular fascination for her.