Cough Medicine


There is someone I know
With her chalky tangles
And her bleached skin
Which she admires daily
in a hand mirror.

When visiting us,
I hear screams under her frozen heels
For a last breath of life;
crunch, crunch, crunch

Mothers begin crying,
“Masks on masks on!”
As she sprays her perfume
Damp, grey and pollutant in nature.

Cough, cough
Blare the lights
As they flash blue and red
Taking the children
With green faces -

They sit, staring at the white tiled
Ceiling, giggling drunkenly
At the men’s dismay
As they scramble to uncork
Another bottle.

Her work is done -
And as she leaves,
Behind her is a trail of stones,
which in their humor
Peek out above the ground
To help Lucifer find his way.

Iman Monnoo is 13 years old and in the eighth grade at Lahore Grammar School in Pakistan. If no one has seen her for the past half hour, sheʼs most likely in the alcove of her room, engrossed between the covers of an Agatha Christie novel!

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