not because they wanted to but they were asked to.
unlike our mothers we knew the meanings of tenderness and
we could let our lovers use their bones
on our paper-flesh as pens
we could sip the stories from their lips
but we also knew where and when
to leave them deserted with their strangled isolation
haunting their no-more-lovely faces
we were the daughters of the witches
they forgot to burn in the wombs of their mothers.
Copyright 2019 Ramsha Ashraf
Ramsha Ashraf is a poet and playwright who lives in Pakistan. She has published a collection of poetry, Enmeshed (2015), and she was a 2017 resident at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.