Traces of Sand

     Aysha Qazi


We were forged from glass.

                They heated our earth until it

                melted into their palms like

                Play-Doh in a child’s hand.

                With blue lips they blew gray

                clouds into our skies, and told

                us to dance. Umbrellas above

                their heads, they colored our rain red.

                It scalded our skin; it made a mess of

                the castles built with     sweltering sand.

                They said if you move, you’ll shatter

                from the core and cracks will make

                their way to your edges until there is

                nothing left but shards of history

                                 and their puncture wounds.

                They stole from our flags—

                                 a star and a hollow crescent moon,

                filled our lungs with fire,

                the rooms of women with darkness,

                and tents with children until schools collapsed

                                 like us when they pushed us to our knees,

                                 silenced our tongues, asked

                                                                  Where is your God

                                 —in the space between the ground

                                 and our bruised foreheads,

                                 —in the seconds between our final breaths,

                                 and just like our fates,

We were forged from glass.

Aysha Qazi is an undergraduate senior at the University of Maryland pursuing a major in computer science and a minor in creative writing. She was born in Pakistan but has spent most of her life in Maryland, where currently resides. After graduating, Aysha hopes to begin a career in technology as well as continue her writing. She draws inspiration from her own experiences and relationships, the enduring struggles of minorities, and the complexities of nature and her dynamic environment. Aysha looks forward to sharing her work in hopes to inspire and connect with readers.