A visual counter-memory from the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action

By Sunaina Maira, Madihah Akhter, Sabiha Basrai
Essays    Reportage    Marginalia    Interviews    Poetry    Fiction    Videos    Everything   
Poetry

On a dewing street I stood bare and pinned by desire.

Poetry

A bridge has landed on my doorstep & a paper is asking me to leave / behind what isn’t mine.

Poetry

I’m not apologizing / when I offer my head to the leash // of your hands

Poetry

I emerged a tether / -less, violent hiss // of becoming, staring winter / straight in the mouth.

Poetry

You desire a final frame / that suits and comforts, / a framing that supersedes / a death denied

Poetry

The other night my love turned his body to mine. This life, he said, is my heaven. 

Poetry

Q: Why the impulse to traverse old habits? / A: I believe in the refusal to explain.

Poetry

after 9/11 / cold silver stretches / across a slate gray table / a room tucked in an airport terminal / you’ve never heard of.

Poetry

when does / a door become / a door , as it opens / or when it closes , / revealing an entirety – its face / or a fixed movement / of its hinges , is that smiling / or saying goodbye , / moonlight / or memory.  

Poetry

“Discipline”, “Survey on Female Occupational Injuries in a Fishing Village”, and “Goddess Transformation”

Poetry

It’s no wonder / that so very few / survive / the experience of being / cast out / into the blinding light.

Poetry

When the sky is falling / you must learn to / generate a force field.

Poetry

In the gentle pull of the first light, / we hobble to stand our bodies / ours and wanting

Poetry

But a summer that begins must end. / Soon, the rains are called.

Poetry

Drink it all, / dredge the bottom for sunk honey

Poetry

Grappling with the burden of keeping a legacy alive in the face of occupation and erasure

Poetry

Today because you are a Cancer rising I want you / to try keeping my name in your mouth like a freeway-Slurpee / kiss, to feel my name burst against your body like / the airbag’s inflated plastic cushion while the car careens in / figure-8’s

Poetry

What else, if anything, would I / outdare a bullet for, if not our country / to bury our grandparents in?

Poetry

I read the flora and fauna in my home as uncannily resilient. / My ancestors’ bodies were presciently small. / Nests accommodate the needs of infestation. / I simply could not live in this house alone.

Poetry

On a dewing street I stood bare and pinned by desire.

Poetry

It’s no wonder / that so very few / survive / the experience of being / cast out / into the blinding light.

Poetry

A bridge has landed on my doorstep & a paper is asking me to leave / behind what isn’t mine.

Poetry

When the sky is falling / you must learn to / generate a force field.

Poetry

I’m not apologizing / when I offer my head to the leash // of your hands

Poetry

In the gentle pull of the first light, / we hobble to stand our bodies / ours and wanting

Poetry

I emerged a tether / -less, violent hiss // of becoming, staring winter / straight in the mouth.

Poetry

But a summer that begins must end. / Soon, the rains are called.

Poetry

You desire a final frame / that suits and comforts, / a framing that supersedes / a death denied

Poetry

Drink it all, / dredge the bottom for sunk honey

Poetry

The other night my love turned his body to mine. This life, he said, is my heaven. 

Poetry

Q: Why the impulse to traverse old habits? / A: I believe in the refusal to explain.

Poetry

Grappling with the burden of keeping a legacy alive in the face of occupation and erasure

Poetry

after 9/11 / cold silver stretches / across a slate gray table / a room tucked in an airport terminal / you’ve never heard of.

Poetry

Today because you are a Cancer rising I want you / to try keeping my name in your mouth like a freeway-Slurpee / kiss, to feel my name burst against your body like / the airbag’s inflated plastic cushion while the car careens in / figure-8’s

Poetry

when does / a door become / a door , as it opens / or when it closes , / revealing an entirety – its face / or a fixed movement / of its hinges , is that smiling / or saying goodbye , / moonlight / or memory.  

Poetry

What else, if anything, would I / outdare a bullet for, if not our country / to bury our grandparents in?

Poetry

“Discipline”, “Survey on Female Occupational Injuries in a Fishing Village”, and “Goddess Transformation”

Poetry

I read the flora and fauna in my home as uncannily resilient. / My ancestors’ bodies were presciently small. / Nests accommodate the needs of infestation. / I simply could not live in this house alone.