Rakhshan Rizwan was born in Lahore, Pakistan and then moved to Germany where she studied Literature and New Media. She completed her M.A in British, American and Postcolonial Studies from the University of Münster and is currently a PhD candidate at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Her poems have appeared in Papercuts, Cerebration, Muse India, The Missing Slate, Postcolonial Text and elsewhere.
As slick haired tourists
did once— so journalists
descend upon our valley,
sharpening the lines of our faces
with emphatic taglines,
tragedy like saunf peppers
the small and medium sized joys
of their lives
how does it feel— they ask us—
I point to the Kunhar
swallowing the shores
As if I, too, want to make
the protective borders
of the nation bleed
I am not a dream customer. I cannot
explicate on pain; its origins
describe the twisted faces of young
broken into a million stories.
The Kunhar hums in my ears—
I answer the voices, once and for all –
(and the borders will bleed
for it) In Kaghan
lies the felled schoolhouse,
the laughter of broken teeth.
That is the story.
This morning I walked towards the makeshift tents
of the city slickers— busy setting up their equipment
The lenses shattered with a brittle sound,
the metal twisted helplessly against
the gravel. Cameras cracked
And now, I see you
peering through the lines, to find spine-tingling metaphors
bombs, bloodied streets,
earthquakes, cancers, disease.
I move towards you with the determination
of a madman; the laptop flies
across the room, the cup of piping hot tea
is emptied on a cosy pile of papers
littering your table.
You are the story today,
I yell till your ears bleed.