chronic respiratory distress syndrome

by Orooj-e-Zafar

  • Streaming + Download



if you could spare a look that doesn't drop
my surfactant by the halves, please do. the truth
is this; your favourite song is Virtual Insanity
and my favourite is watching you tap a quadrant
on the steering wheel when you drive
on the afternoon-warmed pavement.

the truth is that you sleep till the pit in your stomach
dissolves, that you draw diagrams for my morning
mechanics and arrow out results like, "hey, beautiful,"
with dust still rimming your tearing eyes,
just so I don't fall off every tight-rope
dawn welcomes me with;

you throw your head back so your spine is erect.
your dialect rolls r's in envious ways and I want to be
your tongue most days, to rim your cheeks inside
and out gathering your taste like settling dust
in dark rooms with beams of light.

the truth is that I could be wrapped in all of time
and space, the matrix that stretches across every
dimension time-travelers have creased the universe
with and I would still, in eve-

the truth, darling
is this: you stretch when you're restless
and curl in when you thin out. you
protrude your jaw when you make a hefty
turn and your knuckles smile sometimes,
dimpling troughs I've kissed enough
times to memorize these contours.

you blink differently when you make a point
and your horrible puns will always surprise me.
your eyes are sleepier when you smile to me
and these creases on your forehead
disappear in my arms' reaches;

you narrate stories like you make grocery lists;
passion comes as easy to you as despair
comes to me and lies escape you like sleep
teases me: honey you complete me

sweet darling, you
are a walking remedy
for an ailment I was unaware of housing

you are the verve in each one
of my limbs, the pace in this chest
the unrest of my shelved
dreams; you are drowning one
sense drag the other--

breathing is for the weak.


released January 24, 2015
Music: Anomie by Asfandyar Khan (Elsewhere)




Orooj-e-Zafar Islamabad, Pakistan

I love stories and pouring meaning into everything humans do.

learning to be softer since '96.

contact / help

Contact Orooj-e-Zafar

Streaming and
Download help