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
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,
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.