The temporary face

The temporary face

I draw your face on the huge sand
in the early morning, when small crabs
run and hide in the holes
I have provided for your eyes.

I go away. Through the day
people come and go, knowing nothing
but themselves, the sun on shoulders,
salt, fish, net. They scuff

your outlines, walk across your mouth,
they put down footprints in your eyes.
This makes you real, peels back
your absence, lets your image heal

like a temporary skin. I learn to
love the thing that has to be erased,
the thing I may not be allowed to keep,
sand that runs away beneath my running feet.


from Leaving Fingerprints (Bloodaxe, 2009), © Imtiaz Dharker 2009, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Imtiaz Dharker

Imtiaz Dharker reading from her poems

1Speech Balloon

£0.89

2Purdah

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3The Haunted House

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4The Child Sings

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5Postcards from god I

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6Postcards from god II

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7Scaffolding

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8Question 1 / Question 2

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9Eggplant

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10Living Space / One Breath

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11Blessing

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12This room

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13Honour killing

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14The right word

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15Kinna sona

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16A place called Battle

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17How to cut a pomegranate

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18Women bathing

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19Tow-Path

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20Spire

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21Leaving fingerprints

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22Contract

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23Hand of Fatima, Hand of Miriam

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24Eye

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25Whoever you are

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26Talisman / CCTV

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27The temporary face

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28Dabba's dialogue or Tiffin-box talks

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29What she said / what she said later

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30What the palm reader said then

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31What they think she said

No preview avaialable.£0.89

32They'll say, 'She must be from another country.'

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Books by Imtiaz Dharker