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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

Dictator

Dictator, your love is cruel and commanding

You hand it out in drips and drabs so I’m euphoric when you mark my skin and make my insides ache

This is how you retain power for inconceivable lengths of time

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Poems

The Waiting Room

I saw my neighbour in the waiting room 

She smiled at me as if we were just passing each other on the street 

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Poems

Change Is Hard

I am not a flower in bloom

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Poems

Ode to London

When he told her he was coming to the city but not to see her, she was angry

Not because she’d miss the way he would have smiled when he spotted her from a mile away

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Poems

Worlds Apart

I don’t want to be the moon anymore
Only being able to find beauty in darkness
I want to know how the sun feels
We could have shone together
But your ego would never allow it
So it’s okay, I would never try to change you
There is a universe full of planets searching for my light
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Poems

Facing Mortality

I feel my own mortality when I hear your voice getting frail on an off day

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Poems

Happy New Year

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Poems

A Suppressed Woman is Dangerous

I see you watching me

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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