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  • Love is Blind and: Do You Remember When a Blackberry Used to be a Fruit? and: London
  • Kaleem Raja (bio)

Love is Blind

Love reads St. Valentine’s cardsIn BrailleAnd needs sign language to understandThose it failed.

Do You Remember When a Blackberry Used to be a Fruit?

The words on the street are not what they used to be.A text was once a script to be read or heardTwitter used to be the sound of a bird.A mouse was not a thing you could click.And wicked and sickWere bad states, not good.And -ing not the sort of thing you shouldPut at the end of tea bagOr place on the endOf dog.


London is the sermonThat no one will hear,Nobody cares.Time folds in on itselfUnder the force of its own speed.Remember the fall after your summer of loveAnd invincible life?It was the hallowed streets of this townThat convoyed you throughIts every social shindig,Every shimmering soiree.It was the legendary landmarksOf this glittering metropolisThat welcomed you at every cornerOf every street.It was this city of flashing goldThat cut the cracks in your teeth,That lit the tracks of your feetOut of the shadowed town of your birth.There you were,Finally alive.After twenty moribund years of inertia,You burst into life,The air heavy with magic spores. [End Page 753] You were fallow no more,Sallow no more.Flanked by family and friends convivial,The past was immaterial.Your part was finally congenialTo your place.You were misdisplaced,Uninfutile, uninfertile,Dedispossessed, disunrequitedDeath undone and unblightedAfter all.All those people that abused you,All those words that bruised youWere no more.This town didn’t careFor the ghosts of your derelict past.It nestled you in its steel wings,Asphalt beak and concrete clawAnd gave you the wingsWith which to flee.You were wax and feather graced,Aquiline and proud-faced,You were free. [End Page 754]

Kaleem Raja

Kaleem Raja is a British-Asian artist, writer, and educator. He serves as the poetry editor for The View From Here literary magazine, and has founded both the reVerse View poetry group and the ARTSscape website. His work has been published in Ink, Insite, Open City 360, Best New Poems, Humanimalz, and Bitchin’ Kitsch, among others.



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pp. 753-754
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