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  • Writer's picturePrachy Blu Mahbub

Solitude, Nashville, and a Poem

I wrote this back when I was living in Nashville, struggling with a 9-5 life and wondering about a time when things were much simpler. Back when I was growing up in the Middle East and moving around so much with my family, life teemed with a kind of freedom that is difficult to find these days. The kind that shields you from the true absurdity of being a human being. And now, freedom means that ~I’m~ the one who has to pay her own bills. It also means I get to love-- whomever I want, however much I desire— and I think that's worth it.

Eight Hours

How precious you are

How sleek the way you move.

Gliding against the tides of time

Kissing strangers in New American restaurants or

Melting into the thuds of a 9 am keyboard.

Eight Hours.

What a grueling last name-


“Hi, my name is Eight.

I’m the eldest of twenty four,

Fourth heir to the kingdom of time.

My duty is to succeed.

Seven after eight,

Eight after seven.

But I like

Mangoes in the monsoon even more.

When I was an early Eight, I met a love.

We were sweethearts in college;

In Rome and Sadley

Agra and Amsterdam

Sylhet and Salalah.

When we were married in Buraidah,

A long, long time ago

She would nibble at my ears and

Make me dream.

Where Eight was

Two Hundred Thousand stars in space.

Floating on magma and

Dreaming a Dream in a Thought

(I’d do anything for you (in the dark)).

Content in a teacup.

A casket of nibbled ears

And her.

When we were married in Buraidah,

A long, long time ago

She left me.

Or really, I left her and haven’t seen her since.

She had gorgeous eyes. The

Warm ones; The

Dark, hazelnut ones that could

Make you fall into a perpetual dream where

Eight can be Two Hundred Thousand butterflies in the ocean,

Swimming for three summer days.

I am Eight.

My mother is god.

One god.

I am eight.

I am sipping

Hot chocolate in a crowded cafe on 21st Ave and

Wondering about love.

Not the Buraidah kind of love,

But maybe something new.

A different kind of solitary love that you

Find in long, summer walks or

The fluttering ruffles of a white dress.

I dream to be Nine, even Ten, one day.

Ten Hours in Eight.

I would give one to the divine

And ask her, ‘How do you love?’

My other hour,

Ninth of Eight,

I would give

To all the solitary hearts in this world

And tell them to be brave.”

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