“Mythomania” by Javeria Hasnain

Javeria Hasnain


after Natasha Rao

For years, the only way to speak was to lie. Have you brushed today? Yes. Are you still in bed? No. Have you eaten since yesterday? Yes. I wander the streets of Queens, or Brooklyn, or Manhattan, bird-watching—B&W warblers and American dippers—& writing poems. Two beer cans in my hand, one is for a friend, I say to an inquisitive lady who hesitates to tell me good morning when she sees the two beer cans in my hand. I can only be myself away from my mother’s gaze, into anyone else’s. I have inked my body with colors outside of dust. I have never eaten a rabbit or a duck or even a quail or its eggs. I am afraid of swallowing tenderness. Afraid I will like it. Afraid I’ll remain hungry for the rest of my life. For once, I want my body to stay in my body. Open my mouth and have nothing come out.

from Rattle #81, Fall 2023


Javeria Hasnain: “I am a poet from Karachi, Pakistan. I write poetry as a way to connect with my core, and to the world at large.”

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