A Heavy Summer (#3)

Art by Vladimir Kush

My senses are always in consonance with the way time flicks my insides. A heavy summer crucifies my tongue inside a nightmare that I keep wanting more and more. They say pain is an addiction and this day has been everything but that – an addiction sucking me knee-deep. It unfurls on my neck like a morning breath rising anew, like the birds fluttering inside a jar of mishaps. You shake it, until there are enough cracks for you to get in – enough space for your word to mingle with mine.

I think of all the pages dying every night in the grave of your spit. The way this world wraps itself under your skin and inside my fingernails – is a fable residing in the very vacancies of our hearts. Do you know about a ‘Wanting’ that ‘Needs’? It often dawns upon me when your scent travels down my spine. Chills.

This heavy summer is but a monsoon under my eyelids, stretching beyond mortal lines. I want to make the most of it with a hand that can trace all these poems and own them, need them. Need me.

-Nameera Anjum Khan


The Language of Words (#2)

Descent to the Mediterranean by Vladimir Kush

My hands were tied to a pole and I couldn’t speak

You see, the only way I could speak was through a language I hadn’t yet deciphered

My days went on, in a shell of thoughts

When out there, was an ocean waiting to devour me

People often stood long enough by the pole – long enough to let the streetlight lick their sins away

Until one of them untied me accidentally

And I traversed within after he ran away, so deep within that I didn’t even know that there was a path underneath my feet

People often talk about the ground slipping from under their feet, but have you ever felt it slipping right back?

I did

And so did the words itching the insides of my body

And the poems begging to crawl into the ocean

And so, I wrote – never stopping once, never looking back at the pole and those delicate strings of a self-made prison;

I took the path not meant for me, but the one I had been meaning to take anyway.

-Nameera Anjum Khan


Day 2 prompt was inspired by the famous and much loved compose by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken. It took me back to a time when I was still a novice at writing and didn’t exactly measure its importance in my life. Years later, I can proudly say that the person I am today is because of the choices I made, despite the paths that lay ahead of me.

I’ve been confused and lonely at times, but I always made sure that whatever it is that I do, my heart and my soul is in agreement at the end of the day.

Following your heart is easier said than done, especially in a world that’s always out there to complicate things.

Happy Women’s Day

On this day, I want to celebrate trust, dependency and sensitivity.

It’s a blessing to be able to rely on friends and family. As a woman, I’ve seen a considerable level of criticism/unwanted suggestions coming my way because of my choices in life. However, these pricking truths are not the only facet to my life. It is also true that I’m blessed with amazing people that I can trust. And over the years, one biggest life lesson that I’ve learnt is the importance of sensitivity & vulnerability. They have their own beauty, their own poetry to convey.

People will always condition women to grow through such tough phases that independence becomes their sole aim. But I beg to differ. Independence is not JUST about handling your own finances, traveling solo, being able to take your own decisions or wearing clothes of your choice. Have you ever thought about dependency with a straight mind?
I do not mean to convey anything negative by this. What I’m trying to say is that maybe dependence doesn’t really have to be looked down upon so passionately. Maybe there’s a truth to it we aren’t taught to acknowledge. Maybe our society has upheld stupid convictions for so long, that some words just sound absurd. But this doesn’t have to stop us from defining their meanings in our own terms, right?

My mother always tells me that Allah says, it’s wrong to blame time – as in – how people say that this era (referring to time) was better than the one we live in today. So, next time if somebody says ke hamare zamane mai aisa kuch nahi hota tha, then remind them that people have always found a way to do whatever the hell they want to. Good and bad people have existed since the beginning of Creation. Things have happened exactly the way they do now, except that the means of doing them were different.

And just because today is different, it doesn’t have to be wrong. You can still trust people, if you’ve been betrayed before. Give those who are really trying their best a Chance. You can still be an independent woman, a happy woman, a vulnerable woman, an ambitious woman, a hopeful woman, and a woman who depends on her family and friends & reciprocates their love.

-Nameera Anjum Khan

of independence & french fries

i grew up as independent as the roof on my head,
but i still needed the walls to float

i sometimes feel like the plants sitting
outside my window,
just observing my life
maybe this is just an astral lie
or maybe im a stray dog looking for a
shed to sleep under

im a window breaking a thousand times
just to come to terms with this strange insult that is growing
in my poems

im the eye balls rolling on the ground
and disappearing under the carpet, a
divorced paper waiting for a signature

significance,
i like big words and synonyms, i wish i
could find one for my brain
i wish i could nurse the soil that
weakens the bold cracks that are quick
to assume the joy in
every dark shade
of life

this out of control window to my soul
makes me want to fall into a sickness,
i can’t name it tonight
it’ll be a different poem tomorrow

let it fester, let it fester like the fading
smell of french fries on a wintry afternoon,
my little revenge lives every season but
in winters, it eats me

i wish it would chew me too but it eats
me whole
(greedy bitch)
in a stomach, i write about a heart
pretending to be my roof

i write about the bliss sliding under my
clothes, it’s too cold for it to come out, it
sleeps

i grew up independent, inside myself
i grew up, in as much space as i could
take and they could give,
i outgrew
i died;

in the throat of grief, as she drank sobs
to encounter cracked ceilings and
disfigured djinns coming out of their
holes in my bedroom wall

french fries in the rain,
and a cup of tea, please.

-Nameera Anjum Khan

The Scream of a Deaf Girl (Short Story)

The wind never talked to me but she used to always tickle my stomach while I’d laugh like a maniac when I was a little kid. Sure, I had never heard her but she was my best friend. I think we both understood each other way better than most people would. They never heard me and similarly she had been rushing past deaf people all her life. Sometimes, we’d just sit quietly and look at all the people raving endlessly about things that never made much sense to either of us. I still remember the way she raged against my bare back that day. She carried my screams all the way down to the basement but no one came. She raged endlessly while my confused senses called hormones started to run and hide in blazing terror. He said he could hear the wind too but he lied. I know this because he never saw her drop the wooden tool box on his head as he ripped my dress apart, he never saw her until his head was smashed open and he lay on the cold bedroom floor, looking up at her big fluorescent eyes and illuminating body; he murmured something before death carried him far, far away from me (us). I think he said my mother’s name, our mother.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.