Javeria Hasnain

Wonder of the World

I have been thinking a lot about birds lately. How their smallness makes the sky feel infinite. How when they come to the ground,

they are still something of the sky. My father, looking at my mouthfuls, used to say my appetite is that of a hummingbird. When you

first saw me, you said I looked like a hummingbird. It became my wonder of the world. The wonder being that they fly with eagles and return

home. The wonder being that a tender touch can choke them to death. The smallness is the wonder. How I can stand up on multiple ledges

and still not be able to reach you. Perhaps you knew about it when we met. Knew it would progress this way: I will go back to being

a small thing from the sky. You will go back to your home, and then towards greatness of the seas. There are a lot of birds where I live now—

mynah, pigeons, koyals, crows, eagles—none of them as small as the hummingbird. Still, I made a bouquet cut from my flesh and couriered

them to the only address I had of you. It’s been ten days; the feathers are more withered at every subsequent checkpost. By the time it reaches you,

so many officials would have touched my skin. The wonder is nothing but an already wonderful thing appearing recognizable in your eyes.


Javeria Hasnain is a poet from Karachi, Pakistan. Her poems have appeared/are forthcoming in The Margins, Gutter Magazine, Always Crashing, Superstition Review, and elsewhere. She is an alum of the IWP’s Summer Institute. Currently, she volunteers as a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal. Twitter: @peelijay