“you cannot want what you do not know” by Memoona Zahid

Image of poem from SAND 24. Image text: By Memoona Zahid you cannot want what you do not know in daadi’s garden, we reached up to the dangling loquats forever yearning for the glow behind the fruit but never the actual fruit. above the trees – a helicopter, unreachable whirring being. never did we think to fly higher than the clouds. background noise like the ache of a single violin heard from beneath the loquat tree. a stray cat burying its face and children into the wall. we were taught the solidity of our bodies until from us poured a viscous sap of purple. like the first thrill of passing through clouds, bodies surprise in the way they are permeable. then, suddenly, we want to give everyone everything – the blackness of our pupils, the slowness of our blood as it sways inside us. what unforgiveness happens when our fingers slip around the loquat and decide to pull?

MEMOONA ZAHID is a writer of Pakistani heritage. She is a Ledbury Critic. Recent work appears in Lumin Journal, Gutter Magazine, and as part of The Runaways London project. She was recipient of the Birch Family Scholarship in 2019 and received her master’s in Poetry from UEA.

This excerpt from SAND 24, designed by Déborah-Loïs Séry, appears as it does in the print journal. To read more, buy a copy or subscribe at our webshop