Maham Khan

Painted Children

Cavemen crawled inside her and painted children on the walls of her womb.
The woman at the loom is still.

She weaves a fortune for the paintings hanging just underneath her

Stretched flesh,
Crisscrossed with a dozen clumsy silver pens.

Who do you call, with your voice looming like fog over a forest of sighs?

As you leap from sky to sky, Mother,
Your footprints, dusty stars.

All your children seek paradise

Underneath your calloused feet
As they scratch your heels and make you bleed.

You push but if you could, you'd pull them back inside

And smother them then let them become
Bastard kites, ripping through clouds
Tugged by threads of glass that slide through your beating heart.

Maham Khan was born in Pakistan but spent most of her life in Saudi Arabia. She has just graduated from high school in Islamabad and intends to study English Literature at university.



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