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I wonder if you’ve
imagined murdering
me. I see this circus
in your eyes when you
look at me—a royal
disdain for whatever
it is about you I’m
unwilling to affirm.
But my years as Vazir,
Viceroy, and eunuch
are over. This isn’t
a Mughal court, though
my thoughts bend
noble. I drift on this
island of love, inside
my cloud of second acts.
It’s a place you can’t
picture, even with that
ice pick gaze of yours
that seems ready to
stab my neck each
time I say, I’m a wildly
introverted woman.



Mehnaz Sahibzada was born in Pakistan and raised in Los Angeles. She is a 2009 PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellow in Poetry. Her chapbooks, Tongue-Tied: A Memoir in Poems (2012), and Summer Forgets to Wear a Petticoat (2016), were both published by Finishing Line Press. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, such as Moira, The Literary Hatchet, Asia Writes, Strange Cargo, The Rattling Wall, and Pedestal Magazine. In Fall 2016, Mehnaz served as a screener for Claremont Graduate University’s Kate and Kingsley Tufts Poetry Awards, reviewing hundreds of full-length manuscripts. A high school English teacher, she lives in southern California. To learn more about Mehnaz, visit her website.
Current Issue
12 Apr 2021

The spaces within me both heal and house oracular properties.
By: Morgan L. Ventura
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Morgan L. Ventura
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Morgan L. Ventura's “Dispatch from a Ruin in Mitla, the Town of Souls,” with a reading by the poet.
Do you know the tale of the armless maiden? In most tales, it is only her hands she loses.
Issue 5 Apr 2021
By: Caroline Dinh
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 29 Mar 2021
By: Iman Alzaghari
By: Fargo Tbakhi
By: leena aboutaleb
By: Nada Almosa
By: Layla Azmi Goushey
By: Najah Hussein Musa
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Iman Alzaghari
Podcast read by: Fargo Tbakhi
Podcast read by: leena aboutaleb
Podcast read by: Nada Almosa
Podcast read by: Najah Hussein Musa
Podcast read by: Layla Azmi Goushey
Issue 22 Mar 2021
Issue 15 Mar 2021
By: Isana Skeete
Podcast read by: Isana Skeete
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 8 Mar 2021
By: Lorraine Wilson
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Gerri Leen
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Mar 2021
By: Sasha LaPointe
Podcast read by: Sasha LaPointe
Issue 22 Feb 2021
By: Hal Y. Zhang
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 15 Feb 2021
By: Wen-yi Lee
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Feb 2021
By: Varsha Dinesh
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
By: Sarah Kathryn Moore
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Sarah Kathryn Moore
Issue 1 Feb 2021
By: Tamara Jerée
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Betsy Aoki
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Paul Starr
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