Enemies to Lovers


I call to you, red-specked with spice. Between call and response you find me sniffing for dew in the sietch. Find yourself skeptical I am of this air, of this planet, of this century. Test my breathing, my mouth 

against your mouth. Recycle moisture, my gift to you. You tell me where we are. I tell you we are not here. But the here that we are 

is only just a spice-clouded vision of where we might one day go.


Pronounce our destination however you like. I will still call you mine under the two moons, leave handprints smeared against the rubble, against your back. I could be The Hand. I could be The God. I could be The Kangaroo Mouse. No one would believe me, least of all you, but really I am 

a sandworm, lost to the passing centuries. I would thump my own tail against the dunes, call off the pursuit of other worms. Though I know I could not keep you safe forever, at least the thump would give you 

the scarcest resource, even more scarce than water. 


If you find your way close to me, despite 

all obstacles, I will hold you 

till the very end. 

Manahil Bandukwala is a visual artist and writer. Her most recent forthcoming work is a collaborative piece with Liam Burke titled “Orbital Cultivation, and is out with Collusion Books in 2021. She is Coordinating Editor for Arc Poetry, and Digital Content Editor for Canthius. She is a member of VII, an Ottawa-based creative writing collective. See her work at manahilbandukwala.com.

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