Disembodied

 Disembodied
  
 Is it possible to relearn my name?
 Without ever having unlearned it – at least not consciously.
 I suppose I may have preferred air conditioning on some days,
 Closing my door and windows to avoid sun; how was I to know
 That people would get shut out?
 And so would the sound of my name?
  
 I used to write my name in hand-drawn columns of lined pages
 And in the end, I would have memorized it.
 I am trying to recreate that – this time digitally:
  
                                   Best wishes,
                                   Irum
                                   Looking forward…,
                                   Irum
                                   Many thanks,
                                   Irum
  
 Everyday is an exercise in reminding myself and others
 That I am me,
 That I am the one whose name is enough
  
                 [Dear Irum
                 Irum, could you?]
  
 Not to exercise power but be exercised on.
  
 A signature is like a floating head above the water
 What you see from the shore is enough to call help.
 You, on the other side of the table,
 You say it is a synecdoche?
 Standing in for the whole of me? 
 You are right, of course you are right.
 Now go get your promotion
 For combining the dreary with the literary
 And confirming that the whole of me
 Is, indeed, unnecessary.
  
 That name people thought one with me,
 The name that left me for play 
 – 8 am on a Monday – 
 became fixed at the bottom of things.
 In the shower the other day,
 While thinking of the memo I hadn’t sent out,
 My name, in Calibri pt. 11 font,
 Is what I reckoned would be sought
 If I didn’t do the needful at once. 

*****

Irum Iqbal holds a master’s degree in Comparative Literature from SOAS, University of London, and another one in English Literature from University of Karachi. Her research interests lie in the areas of South Asian Literature, Feminist Literature, and the intersections of religion and literature. She is currently preparing for her doctoral studies and hoping to be able to write more.