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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
3 Oct 2022

Lying in bed last night I felt fingers reach in, grabbing. I opened in spite of myself as you clawed me with your fingernails, flattened, panicked. Split throat, iron tongue, white masks ranged overhead, the rings on their fingers scraping me as they reached in to take you.
from my tower we climb, shroud as my veil. We leap on his fae steed
I tell smug Cyclops that I’m as gay as the next mutant, and that all mutants find themselves within battles
Get ready to feel hungry, because the theme for this quarterly roundup is food.
Wednesday: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo 
Wednesday: Where You Linger & Other Stories by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam 
Issue 26 Sep 2022
Issue 21 Sep 2022
Issue 12 Sep 2022
Issue 5 Sep 2022
Issue 29 Aug 2022
By: Cat T.
Issue 22 Aug 2022
Issue 15 Aug 2022
Issue 8 Aug 2022
Issue 1 Aug 2022
Issue 18 Jul 2022
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