I was hoping to cherish

I was hoping to cherish

That part of you;

The part of you

That doesn’t sin.

I was hoping to cherish

The child in you;

The part of you

That laughs and cries.

I was hoping to cherish

The love in you

The part of you

That feels so small.

(The lost soul in you;

The one you’ve been searching your life for,

Past the animosity and suffocation).

If one day all of the ones you knew

Were to judge you

I’d like to think I was the one

Who got you right

The most.

You never know- everything has a beginning but some things never begin.

You fall in love with my beauty

But I have nothing to give.

I long for your love:

Tell me what I have done

And is it as bad as

Being forbidden from your mother’s touch?

(I love new things

So as you can imagine

When I got married:

The pouring of new gifts).

My best friend died:

Autopsy revealed

The secrets he’d been hiding;

The wounds left from

The childhood abuse

And the monster he’d become.

The heart shriveled with suffering

Yet all these bodies

Are just laid there to be numbered;

The lungs exhausted

Revealed how he’d been yelling from ashore

Bleeding and begging for help

Yet was passed on from home to home

Like you graduate from school to school

Until one day you’re naked to the world

And they are concerned about

The crime you committed

And how you will be punished.

I only asked for my mother’s love;

I wanted to belong to her even after belonging in her womb.

I don’t know when the cord was cut

But my soul wanted to run in her vains

Even after she gave birth to me and rejected it.

And when I ran from hate by becoming it:

Body of steel; inside, a child seeking the hand of a loving mother:

I was thrown into solitary confinement,

A number in death row;

You ask me of my last meal?

(I’ve seen my mother beat me, spit on me

Said no one loved me; that I was worthless; Pointed a gun at me at seven, ten, thirteen and fifteen-

Until I turned that gun on someone else)

I say how lovely would it be to taste

The sweetness of my mother’s touch

(Last meals and last feels).

(I love new things

So as you can imagine

When I died:

The pouring of new gifts)

I was hoping to cherish

The child in you;

The part of you

That laughs and cries.

Blood memories

Passsd through and through:

I was hoping to cherish

Some part of you.

~By Maryum Khalid~


I am shedding.

(Prolonged frame).

Is there something wrong with me

Because I don’t love anymore?

Why do beautiful people

Kill themselves ?

What monsters does this culture create

That we begin to doubt our love ?

(Prolonged frame).

Dad drove hatchbacks all his life even if his babies were dying.

There’s a lot of people who have no one to turn to, contrary to popular belief.

Did he ever think of the Eros, the Thanatos

Or are we cursed because somewhere

There was the death of an Albatross ?

(What did he not tell me?)

What of the death we wear around our necks?

What is this burden that feels like a curse?

This force of life and this force of death, head on head battle.

(Prolonged frame).

Trying to elude

And is this survival ?

Eliding the trauma:

Delete- kill- strike out- wipe out- run.

I am shedding.

(Prolonged frame).

~Maryum Khalid~


I came into your home:


When you weren’t looking (or there)


Amidst your (lost)self portrait,

Your walls filled with

Paris and Rome,

Of dancing girls,

Girls looking at you

Or girls looking away,

Your walls of colour

And the midnight moon and water;

Paintings of big birds

Taking flight:

I wanted to know your story.

Your queen sized bed

All to yourself

With satin (mint) covers

You get lost into.

Patterns in your jewelry

Lined in your dresser,

I, looking at my reflection

Or my self

In the mirror:

I too want to know your story.

Your quartz and amethyst


Set clearly to ‘soulify’ your space;

The quotes you have pinned

On your walls and boards-

You got me too.

Your compilation of life lessons

And words of wisdom, hope, healing and raw earth:

All together scrambled in a giant bowl.

But what is your actual story?

What is hiding underneath those jewels and words and art and life?

What is your story?

I want to know your story.

How do you embrace another in your body and soul that all they want to do is stay ?

The dark and greys of public ridicule, pity

and comic relief with all that your have gathered:

Please, I’ve come in your home,

I’ve been invited to feel your fragrance:

In all you’ve been and what you’ve left, between the places you never will return to ones you want to go, crawling deep into your skin, encountering your child, childhood years, your old age and where you are now, what lands you’ve crossed within you to the demons you fight now, the chemicals in your brain forming your mystical responses and the pictures you create with colours of the celestial cosmos (lost), the stories of your legacy of trauma and what you’re doing about it for your generation and the souls and bodies coming to this place, wherever you live, however you deal with your addiction (a disease of isolation) and whenever it shows up on your skin and all the questions that arise, beneath the layers of your changing mind must be something gasping for air, how life took away from life, from the letters your younger self wrote to you to the last letter you will ever write, the compelling feelings of your bitter sadness to when you feel the most safe:

Give me your human experience, give it all:

Please tell me your story.

Please invite me cordially.

~Maryum Khalid~

The things that changed about me:

How now I describe my soul.

The way I part my hair.

I felt it so I wrote about it.

And realizing that with trauma:

The body keeps a score.

By: Maryum Khalid

Poetic Justice

I want to run away with you

And I want to catch

The fairies with you.

And on the ferry

There will be tears

And we can scream together.

When hearts are in harmony:

Poetic justice.

Three years ago

Was my last suicide attempt-

Things fall apart

And I fell in love:

(Feels good to wake up and count)

Poetic justice.

But at the festival

I won’t be with you

Your mind wouldn’t help itself and

you’d be thinking of me:

Poetic justice.

I swam for you

And didn’t know how to save myself

But I’m breathing now

And able to talk with the fairies:

Poetic justice.

By: Maryum Khalid

I know you are hurting.

But In the grand scheme of things,

I know:

The universe









Poem & Photograph:

Maryum Khalid

Fixing Flowers

I made all these things

For you

So when you’d come home you would know

The light doesn’t shine

Brighter anywhere else.

(I don’t want the flowers to die).

…(And the cycle goes on and on

Day to night

High to low

To needing you more)…

Then we picked

My satin dress.

(I don’t want the flowers to die).

(But homes are for people

Who want to come and rest

And count their breaths).

How do you describe (say) love?

And I suddenly feel grief for all the times I never loved (myself).

(The Minutiae of the shipwrecks and

Fleeting images of the trajectories of trauma).

Tell me

When will you come

And am I worthy of your love

Why is this me?

(The life of an addict).

I tried to play the emotional card

On you and

It backfired in me

Now something is scaring inside me

Wanting love or attention or some

Form of belonging.

Let me shut you up

With another hit

(The next fix).

There is only one solution:

You can dream what ever dream

And have the sensations and illusions

But after the fix

I am still alone;

My thinking doesn’t rest

(After the cardiac arrests).

The rhythms of the heart and the

Electricity of darkness;

The rhythm of life;

The ecstasy of the rush.

How many eviction notices

Is it going to take

For me to look at myself in the mirror

And learn to love myself?

(I want to know what it’s like

When flowers bow to you).

~Maryum Khalid~

The Cloak

The battle begins,

The cloak drawn and

We are in and out of awareness

Between flashbacks and nightmares.

Tell me:

Should I win you over?

(Or win, over you?)

We have a certain number of

Wins and defeats

Circling our heads

But the truth is

The truth can’t be fought away from.

We can deny our play-by-play;

By the end, a catastrophe

But we don’t deserve scrapes of


If not all, then

Nothing should be enough.

(I didn’t plan this

But the enabler and supporter

Won me over.

What a downer,

For you).

~Maryum Khalid~

Black Death

We die in our own skin for

A thousand years, every day.

Behind every subtle breath

there is the Black Death

And the hidden plague

And the mental extremities

and this psychological warfare

(What are these actions and thoughts,

Why are we reducing our own morale?):

Haunting our psyche:

How many languages can I say

“This isn’t fair”


~Maryum Khalid~

Traffic Lights

Did I ever love right?
No you never loved yourself right.

It’s too late for a revolution
So you can
Skin and gut yourself naked until
You can’t face yourself;
Especially in those seconds
Waiting at the traffic lights.

So what is it going to be?
Will you feel better if someone
Names a star after you;
Just to make sure
Of your mere existence in the cosmos?
No I don’t think you can buy a star
Or better yet, put a price on a

You might as well
Go through all the colours
Of life, death, gore and gust,
All of a sudden or planned-
At the traffic lights-
Love, right ?

~Maryum Khalid~



Vincent Kennedy