2 min read



The eldest in the family tree 

rains barrage of sharp acorns 

wherever you go a stubborn bomb- 

bard tracks your ticks   

Lady fingers, not 

to be outdone, possess the hiss 

art of unctuous intimidation 

so slippery - before you know it 

you’re a fallen woman 

The garden variety are a parliament

of pale pink roses, faint blush 

and thorn make short work 

of undefended flesh, nape 

left tender just in case 

a butterfly alights like a kiss 

to them you are forever 

perishable goods, a snow- 

flake on a crow’s wing 

in the cross 

heirs of their hawking


She says popcorn is the worst 

as I tilt back, between spit 

and suck. Gums feel like shrapnel in your mouth 

an explosive leaves soft flesh and hard crack, the plaque like a plague. 

“Decades since I left Kabul, but could never understand 

strange English that walks 

about America “ it’s the bomb”  is that good?” 

It’s the sensation, I reply, the way 

sweet, salty, buttery, whiteness fills as you watch 

chase or place go up in flames 

unopened kernels stay 

buried at bottom, out of sight 

Until stepped on 

she says, lifting her pants to flash

 a prosthetic leg.

Rumble Strip(e)s Forever

I don't know 

what, we're even 

celebrating any more, she said, breaking 

A roll of pennies open 

register, pay and pay 

no mind 

Thought, a Frederick Douglas bubble 

wrapped my lips, wedged 

tight as bills in the dash 

Home, a shiner 

sun, painfully pinned 

medal poking bark 

up the old 

oak breast 

Oh say, can you see 

this body, drowning 

frowns, myriad ripples 

reflecting on 

the one 

pointed wound.  

Sophia Naz is a poet, author, editor and translator. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize; in 2016 for creative nonfiction and in 2018 for poetry.  Her work features or is forthcoming in Rattle, Fence, Berfrois, Meridian, Poetry At Sangam, Poetry International Rotterdam, The Adirondack Review,  The Wire, Chicago Quarterly Review, Blaze Vox, Scroll, The Daily O, Cafe Dissensus, RAIOT, Ideas And Futures, Chapati Mystery, Guftugu, Pratik, Gallerie International, Coldnoon, VAYAVYA, The Bangalore Review, Madras Courier.  She has authored three poetry collections; Peripheries (Cyberhex 2015), Pointillism (Copper Coin 2017) and Date Palms (City Press 2017) and Shehnaz, a Biography (Penguin Random House 2019). Open Zero, her fourth collection of poetry was published recently by Yoda Press.

* The email will not be published on the website.