“People Eat Chickpeas Bathed in Vinegar” by Zarin Hamid

People Eat (Zarin Hamid)

Missing the filigree of dust on every surface and crevice of skin. That’s what we are. Pink roses planted at each traffic circle of Kabul means it is spring and it is summer.

My love is limitless, her skies are limitless, the valley is broken, the valley is mine.

The saying goes: “die, burn, or deal with what you got.” All that’s been done, but
They’re doing it every day: matchstick women, matchstick men, matchstick children, matchstick coffin.
What else is left? The dust, the dark, the original mist.

Seed and sulfur, all this is one.

On that hilltop, where flurries of magenta-purple flowers grow, arghawan lighting up Pir Boland, there is a British soldier buried, and like in all other graveyards people eat chickpeas bathed in vinegar, some with leathery eyelids I would kiss wide open to salute the sun.



Zarin Hamid is an adopted native of New Jersey, where after some circling she has come back to work and live. She has studied political science and peace and conflict resolution, and in addition to writing works on gender-based violence, militarism, and human rights issues from a feminist lens.

Read an interview with Zarin here.