I have lost only what the moth loses
in the candle flame—ash.
I have lost what falls behind
the turning sunflower—shadows.
I have lost the milky scales that cover the eyes
of a snake about to shed.
I have lost what the skeleton gives up
to the worms and the bleaching sun.
I have lost the empty husk a cicada leaves
for a few months in the chorus of summer
after seventeen years in the ground.
At the baggage carousel I couldn’t find a tag
with my name on it, because all the tags said
– Tiel Aisha Ansari, from her poetry blog, Knocking From Inside. Reposted with permission.