A Poem by Mehnaz Sahibzada




A memory to starve like a moth.

The heat melts my resolve. A sip

of water for this cottonmouth.


Echoes blacken between my

thoughts.  Nights like this,

my heart pumps fog.  Each


incubated recollection a soldier.

Imagine the force of an image

that marches south, like a fist


pounding at a door. The past

a pen that bleeds ink.  Don’t

tell me that sleeping alone doesn’t


make you anxious.  Hollow sounds

crane my throat.  I’ve lived since

childhood in this quaking house.


You have been here too.  The door

a paperweight at 3am. The moon

so close, the mind feels stalked.



Mehnaz Sahibzada was born in Pakistan and raised in Los Angeles.  She is a 2009 PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellow in Poetry. Her chapbooks, Tongue-Tied:  A Memoir in Poems (2012), and Summer Forgets to Wear a Petticoat (2016), were published by Finishing Line Press.  Her work has appeared in numerous publications, such as Asia Writes, The Rattling Wall, and Pedestal Magazine.  A high school English teacher, she lives in southern California.


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