Karachi, lives in my bones whispering memories vertebrae to ulna, my fingers reach to detangle her humidity from my hair, feeling for moisture no longer there.
I dream a bursting extravagance of puris steaming from the bazaar, a cardamom-scented mountain of suji ka halwa fried gold, cousins fighting for the prized malai on top of the milk.
In all the places we can never call home, I search for abandoned charpais chambeli ke phool, drink rose-scented Rooh Afza to the bottom of tin glasses, look for reflections of a larki in torn jeans and a kurta who may once have been me.
I call her long distance, the line scratchy with diaspora and missed connections.
She flips back her thick, black hair, laughs at me, says:
“Everything has changed, next time, just text.”