Of Colonisation and Polite Hello’s

Neha Maqsood tackles issues of race and identity in her freeform poetry. For Issue #18 ‘Rising’.

Of Colonisation and Polite Hello’s

loosely  steeping fingers  into the seams of  the

Empire  which presumes  colours don’t exist  but Diaspora 


                          they  say things  like this don’t  happen anymore

                                    so  stunt  masses  

                                          with  a colossal  Brexit

                                                             tranquilize  them with a  ‘sorry’ here and  a 

‘cheers’  there

covetously  steady the pearls  studding their necks,  but

                                                             the  weathers  finally good  today you see?

the  suns come  out 

they say  that  

things  like this 

don’t  happen anymore, 

but  the Diaspora knows  it does.

a  game  of endurance, only 

the  whitest  colour wins. 

black,  brown, yellow,

strike,  you’re


The Conversations Girls Have at Midnight

I asked her   did you hear about the monsoon rains killing 15 in Pakistan  do you really want to become a Wall Street banker rather than retain your sensibility  why does my depression metastasize within things I touch why can’t I be fluently bilingual without compromising on my native language  why is our fluency in the colonisers language an indicator of our worth how do we stop feeling ‘lesser than’ the white people at university  do you know that white people are surprised we exist but the diaspora knows we do do you think Allah will forgive me for my indecency or is jahannum my next destination   speaking about going to hell, how do I look into my conservative mothers eyes and tell her that I’m not her little girl anymore   how do I tell daddy that medicine is his career goal and not mine how many times do I reiterate to aunties that I’m not a child producing factory but would much rather retreat to the mountains & dissolve lakes into diamonds  do you think trumps’ america is better or worse than johnsons’ england I ask her if these anxious thoughts are recurring does she know the world bailed on us?

jahannum – hell

Artwork by Maegan Farrow.


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