Artwork by Aneesa Kaleem on Instagram
Through a car window, you see yourself dabbing lipstick
with your finger. You keep getting asked how you got so unlucky.
You’re a curtain they long to pull aside, revealing
perhaps – a dark well, a ruined room, an empty chair.
They wish you were an upturned palm, so they could
examine the frayed lines.
On being anything at all, but a body that
isn’t a cavity, a space. An indentation. Half-becoming,
half-rousing, always, always, on the verge. Did you remember
to pluck your three silver hairs? You flicker like an old image,
a golden beetle on its back. Someday, you’ll tell the
story of how you met yourself on the sidewalk at midnight,
rummaging in your purse for a light. They’ll be like
like the swaying grass behind you, a sea of soft murmurs.
So you’ll go home and count the books on your bedside.
You’ll smile alone, with your little secret. Snap the spine of
expectations in half. You keep getting asked
how you got so unlucky.
Name: Maham Khan
Social media: @verymuchapoet on Instagram
Bio: I am a poet and a teacher living in Islamabad. My poems can be found in The Missing Slate, Jaggery Lit, The Aleph Review, and Somewhere in Pakistan, among other places.