Aqdas Aftab: Lessons in Abundance
Photo: Joanna C. Valente

Photo: Joanna C. Valente

lessons in abundance

the reason i add too much cayenne to everything is because even when i consume ravenous i keep wanting - every orgasm leads to another fantasy - every bite another bucket of drool collected-  every massive gulp another sand dune in my throat - i want the chili to numb all my nerves - i want honey stuck immobile to every hair of me - i want bath salts sneaking into my intestines - i want blunt meteor edges clawing me sexy- i want the rhythm of a thousand dhols ripping me awake- i want agony lava spice ecstasy deep and dense - i want it all all all of everything on every inch of my insides spread around everywhere sensing chewing sniffing devouring all the fucking time

but then

there are such moments 

                                                    with you

when you clasp me 


in your warmth 


i am free

        of want

during such moments i can feel fully what is already resting, 

eyes closed, cross-legged, under the calm of my tongue 

during such moments, i know your love is 

abundant, i do not need to consume all of it 

to taste it

so i am learning to trust the one spoon of cayenne. stirring slowly. shutting the spice cabinet asleep. trusting that i’ll continue to feel. trusting that heat is not limited. trusting to be unwanting.

slow and 


just wolfing around

again when the moon rises, i hear another howl &

wonder if i’m being wolfed at, or called for help by

a cry of grief. but i know from past rotations

that for us, the two howls are the same thing.

isn’t all flirtation a desperate attempt to communicate

a kind of loss too unkind to be honest. 

so when we fuck fast without looking into the other’s eyes

i too whistle as you waltz back into the moon

once again.

Aqdas Aftab is nonbinary queer writer, reader and dreamer from Islamabad. They are often thinking about trans speculation, prison abolition, racial justice, and the healing power of dandelions. These days, Aqdas is closely listening to the lessons taught by the ecosystem. Their work has been published or is forthcoming in Bitch Media, The Rumpus, Crab Fat Magazine, Yes Poetry, Vulture Bones and the anthologies 'Transcendent 4: The Year's Best Speculative Transgender Fiction' and 'The World That Belongs to Us: An Anthology of Queer Poetry from South Asia'. In their free time, Aqdas can be found working on their doctoral dissertation at the University of Maryland.