Selina Mahmood

was she beautiful or was she not? – George Eliot


           refuse to be lin-

             ear like y = ax+b

               this isn’t going 

                 to start with hell &

                  end with heaven.     

                 eyes will roll 

                back to that sooner 

             than you realize &

         if they don’t

     you’re only lying 

   to yourself.    

it’ll be edged & notched 

& maybe from hell 

  to a lesser hell, 

    maybe from hell 

        to a greater hell, 

            but as sure as hell 

               isn’t going to be 

                 the amethyst placed in 

                  your hands that turn 

                 your irises indigo. 

                i’ll make a story, later, 

             though there’s no later

         & it’s always happening, 

     because that’s what 

   our treacherous patterned

minds do. 

it’ll change each time, 

as it does with each breath, so 

 don’t push it off, 

  write it now, 

     now into now.  

       write the stories 

         with the doubt doubling 

            down your shoulders;

             keep drawing lines—notched though they may be, 

                                              until they bend, until the 

     senseless sense makes sense, even though

                      chaos is the same and beyond sense—

an abyss you’ll have to leap over. 

Selina A. Mahmood recently graduated from medical school. She has poems published in The Ghazal Page, One Sentence Poems, Blood and Thunder - Musings on the Art of Medicine, Right Hand Pointing, The Conglomerate, and forthcoming publications in SurVision and Apofenie. She has a published collection of poems and has also blogged book reviews on HuffPost