XX. Awakening

Zolpidem may cause hallucinations and dizziness
by Neha Maqsood | January 25, 2020

I only see Allah in
dreams and Arabic calligraphy
on an off-white canvas,

fire embers burn through
August leaving behind only green noises
and accusations,

target kills of a
floral printed shirt as
chafed lips falter over Urdu
literature and the whiteness of
scalps flake off into
scalding tea as they weep
reading my palm lines,

we thought we were growing up in
cahoots; shape shifting co-conspirators
sliding along latitudinal axes
and envisioning the faces of gods
and prophets,

but we were merely
outliers.

Neha Maqsood (she/her) is a Pakistani journalist whose work on race, religion, Indo-Pak relations and women’s inequality has been published in Media Diversified, Brown Girl Magazine, Rife, and Sister-Hood. Her poetry has been featured or is forthcoming in Broken Spines Press, Nightingale & Sparrow, Abridged, TERSE Journal, and Black Bough Poetry Press. For her efforts in tackling discrimination against people of colour and increasing South Asian representation in Britain, she was listed as one of the 100 Most Influential Black and Minority Ethnic personalities in South-West England. She starred in the 2018 film, Sisters in Arms, which premiered at multiple international festivals in Toronto, Los Angeles, London, Galway, and more.