I was baptized on a bathroom floor
Somewhere in Lahore
The names of streets and people to meet
Fading into obscurity
I was baptized –
Though I was alone, and 18,
And crouching on tiles probably older than me –
Far from Christian, or anything else –
Trying to find
Between trying not to soak the floor
Trying to wash out an hour’s worth of
Hairspray and backcombing
All in an effort to look presentable
For people that I’ve forgotten, or who’ve
Forgotten me, or maybe both.
I’m freezing, even though
The faded pink bucket is filled
with the only “hot” water of the day.
The water is expansive, all-consuming,
Sucking the breath from my lungs.
Maybe I’m too cold, or stunned,
[but this feels like rebirth]
But I suddenly see the holiness of
The river, the cold water
Rushing over stones and heads alike,
Enveloping, submerging, swallowing it all up
Before parting for all the sinners and heathens to rise from its depths.
The poem “Water” was previously published in Kaleidoscope, Issue 9, in 2017.
Qurat is an engineering student at the University of Guelph, an avid environmentalist, and an emerging author. She has work forthcoming or currently in The Evansville Review, Tenth Street Miscellany, The Temz Review, Yellow Taxi Press, and KROS Magazine. Qurat has also received a number of awards for her environmental work, including the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement and being named one of Canada's Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 by The Starfish in 2016. Find her on Twitter: @DQur4t