Epidermis (#5)

Art by Jung-Yeon Min

Sandy shores inside my mouth

There are tides in my tongue that erase your name every time I trace it on the corners of my mouth

I create a vigour in my ribs that swirls in the tangerine buds of the laughing skies

My paper feet are cut in places that can never learn to sleep,

I eat this canvas until I’m the piece of art

But I’m deranged in places that don’t exist loud enough

I de-layer,

Bit by bit

Until the flesh is a bare secret-

It’s your story but you keep peeling it away,

Look at you now – a subsumed flame in a nest of rage, a holy prayer covered in filth and harbouring a look that says more than actions do;

You’re a ship in the sky, sailing away the gravity in hopes of falling on the ground.

You never do.

-Nameera Anjum Khan


Before this day ends, I decided to pen down a muse which was quite spontaneous, which speaks for itself I suppose :3

There was a potpourri of thoughts behind this one but the most particular one was – the description of a toxic relationship and the fear of conformity to truth. Sometimes, people lock themselves up in a cage because they fear getting hurt and in the process, they end up hurting others. It’s an interesting paradox to reflect upon but going through it is an entirely different phase.

Conclusively, I’d like to add that vulnerability is a very precious thing and if someone decides to take off their mask in front of you, you’re not under an obligation to reciprocate the same. You must take your time but through means that don’t end up hurting others.

Thank you for reading, have a nice time ahead!

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.

The Man who Ate the Universe (#1)

Key to the World – Vladimir Kush

There is a shallow sinking unfurling inside my bosom

My eyes smell like a lie perched in a lonesome nest

He says that there’s a lot to live for but when I look at the sky, it feels like for a moment; it’d rather freefall into my ribs

Why is vastness so daunting?

A bloody lip, a bloody elbow

I’ve been angry at the walls and my skin, I’ve been angry at my body and I punish it every time a shard from the past’s mirror becomes the only way for me to see myself

There are hands that don’t belong to me,

And colours that seep into my cuticles without meaning to…

A yellow moonlight fades upon my tongue, it’s a rustic desire biting me down

A man comes to me, he says the world is in his pocket – among other things,

I tell him that I want the universe – everything out there and within,

I never see him again. Some days when the sun is in an inexplicable hurry and the stars whisper in secrecy; I hear them talk of a man who ate the universe and now he’s out there – and within

I look down at my empty palms holding on to nothing but a blackness that has no shade, a hope that has no name.

-Nameera Anjum Khan


This is my very first entry for the Napowrimo Based on the prompt ‘Sun Ra and his Arkestra (Animated Version)‘. I’m planning on spending this whole month here, away from the chaos in my original world of Poetry as I juggle between my passion and academics. Here’s to a consistent beginning!

Thank you for your time, if you want you can check out the daily Prompts too and give them a try.

P.S

I came across the prompt while reading ‘The Sun Queen’ – a Beautifully crafted poem by Rahul Gaur. Thanks for the inspiration! (:

In the Shadows of a page

Do you ever wonder what you look like in someone else’s poem? Is it some made-up version or reflects who you truly are?

If you ever want to know yourself better, read yourself through someone else’s letters and poems. It may seem as though you’re reading about a stranger but if it doesn’t, then you know that you belong there. In that moment of creation, your spirit was complete.

What you hold in your hand is a page, only momentarily. Soon it morphs into endless dreaming and hopeful possibilities.

It becomes a page that is no more that – but something that lives, it is not a thing anymore; but something that breathes you.

-Nameera Anjum Khan

Fantasies & Fiction

There’s a fantasy, at the surface of my spine

It flutters into your arms like a Gothic Romance choking on its own saliva

I spill the rainbows that you planted in my bladder ~ an acid leaves my body crawling on all fours,

There’s a lullaby growing in my belly & with every kiss, you extract a note from it until every syllable is infused with your name

A name this territory knows all too well, a fantasy that speaks my name like it’s the only poetry that matters; the only fiction worth realization.

-Nameera Anjum Khan

Night Creatures

All the night Creatures crawled up to my desk ~ & I wondered…

What Creature am I in their language? The one with the touch of Death or the God with untimely sunlight ~ as bright as a snowfall in the raging summers?

They keep coming back, I don’t think they’ve a name for me.

Sometimes, a shadow looks like my Father hiding behind the door,

At other times, it metamorphoses into an old hag that laughs at me while I read the ‘Articles’ of the ‘Constitution’ aloud…

& Even the night Creatures laugh – at a nameless horror; but I only defined ‘Democracy’, I only swallowed a slice of cake and brushed aside this noisy mosquito.

It was the only one pricking at my skin instead of laughing – when I (defi)n(ed)

D – E – M – O – C – R – A – C – Y.

– Nameera Anjum Khan

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

On Writing

Writing for a purpose, specially one that’s for a long term, can be so difficult to provide an impetus to. I’ve been so frustrated and annoyed at myself for the past few months. I was in a similar position at the beginning of the previous year, but it was for all the different reasons.

And I honestly love writing about writing, you know?

I’m not making much sense. Also this is yet another pms-ing rant haha, in case it wasn’t obvious.

I want to write for myself, like I always have. But I also want to share myself with the people that inspire me and vice-versa. We all have some inspiration to offer to each other. It’s beautiful.

Life is beautiful, we should write it more often.

-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

Of Women & Moonlight

A land that pushes women to the stature of a Goddess

Is also adept at pulling them down when necessary

This reminds me of necessities that arise out of despai

A colony of ants climb the hills that reek of sweet sanity

Between my knees are bruises that never healed

Between my palms are lines of sweat that never left any empty space

‘Push, push, push’ – “It’s a moonlight wailing in birth and blood!”

How do I tell them,

That it’s the moonlight wailing at the prospect of illuminating silently, humming songs of anger that sound like sweet sanity?

It’s another bitter Goddess biting her fate, watching the poison take nefarious shapes in her throat

Until the day she takes back her throne,

Until then there’s only a sip of hope.

-Nameera Anjum Khan.

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