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Poems

Not Your Spice Girl

Much of South Asian literature is themed around food – milk and honey, saffron and cinnamon, jalebis and gulab jamuns, turmeric and mangos. Our food is electric in hues, decadent, an explosion of flavour, medicinal in nature.

I get why food takes centre stage in South Asian literature; alot of our parents expressed their love through food. While South Asian cooking is a part of my identity – after all, our ancestral land was colonized in some part for those commodities – it’s not a significant part of my story as a person.

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Poems

Take Me Home

Heartbreak like this make me yearn for comforts I never even had

The urge to bask in my motherland’s South Asian sunshine and feel warm rainwater splashing down my back

Elders calling me their child in Urdu, sending me to sleep with head massages laced with coconut oil

Bare feet, long braids, eating food on the floor with my hands

Heartbreak that makes me want to start again in my mother’s footsteps because starting afresh in my own shoes won’t be enough to make me forget

Heartbreak that makes me wish I wasn’t here

So I start to daydream about not being here

Not being dead

But being reborn in the country that flows through my veins

Then I’d never have met you

And I can imagine I wouldn’t ever have to know what it feels like

To be heartbroken like this