Poetry

DarkMatter at Stanford, an exclusive interview

May 22, 2015

Last Friday, DarkMatter, trans South Asian spoken word duo, performed at Stanford, where both Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramaniam obtained their undergraduate educations. They have been active in raising consciousness about issues related to race, queerness, trans identities and violence in (and by) the United States, especially those issues pertaining to the South Asian diaspora. … Read More

A Sestina on Teacups, Marathons, and Overdone Cultural Clashes

May 15, 2015

The Breakfast Club resolved to meet every Sunday morning. During their allotted time and in their allotted space they would discuss the news: Troubling dreams, sabzi recipes, fashion, and what their children Weren’t doing with their lives. Tapping their teacups With the soft part of the spoon, clicking their tongues, And nodding concernedly, they would … Read More

Ramadhan

May 8, 2015

in madrasah they taught us Allah has one hundred names, asmaa’ al-husna allah ar-rahman ar-rahim al-malik al-quddus ramadhan: dadima keeps the TV on the Islamic channel “khabees, idhar aao” calls me over to watch the du’a with her 10 minutes before iftar, she smells like adhrak and tulsi the day-long sweat of kitchen-labor, masterchef of … Read More

Vignettes (About Leaving Home)

April 24, 2015

In 2013, Obama visited Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for talks of “Africa as the next global economic success.” He only stayed for a couple of hours, and President Kikwete named an entire road after him. This road in particular used to be called Ocean Road, where the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) is located. It … Read More

Ghost writer

April 17, 2015

I. I was born when you were born, skin to skin – embraced you like a long lost friend – stayed – with you, born with the brown skin of an old woman, thin and translucent to the touch, became a second skin for you, a little taller, my feet stifled underneath yours, became for you a cradle against … Read More

A Ghazal of Eyes

April 10, 2015

At my spine is a harbour for a fear of eyes: the eyes that want to know me and your eyes. Yours want me wanting and known. I think of floods daily. They rarely close, your eyes. You asked if I was scared of being known, the dip of eyelashes on all-seeing eyes. I hid a small … Read More

milk and honey, Poetry Review

April 3, 2015

Rupi Kaur’s milk and honey, an anthology of her writing published in November of last year, has already infiltrated the interweb South Asian Tumblr community. As a fellow South Asian woman and writer, I’ve found that there is a serious absence of South Asian diaspora voices in the literary world that depict and elevate our … Read More

They had a word for madness

We were not meant to chew like cows, Like the girls who consider Nor swallow well and whole, Like some others. We, with a mouth too big and open and baboon-like, Spit. Spit and vomit and retch too loud In fetching loud refusals Women of disguise Women of disgust Women of no grace Women, roaring. Madness … Read More

dystopias of light

March 20, 2015

I. I had to build a house for light, to accommodate it: windows there, a hearth here, lamps above. I built a house for light to haunt. II. Fair is lovely. Dark is a face upturned to the light becoming bowed. Fair is lovely. III. This is the way infidels are made. You didn’t look away, full of faith. The gods turned … Read More

Imagined Apology from my Father

March 6, 2015

Dream, love. I am a whittler in this life. We can live anywhere you want: a farm, the stable, a tiny house in a field of silence. The walls will be made of anything but organs. You will never see blood. Dream, love. There are no hospitals this time. Instead, it is your 16th birthday … Read More

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