Shaheen Qureshi


The PHENOMENOLOGICAL PUNCH. A baby planet has been spotted by astronauts. Leftovers of its formation, still in its birthplace. The baby planet is the size of a pomander with a durian musk and its grit is raw. Maybe it will realize it is a rebel or just a palm-shaped amulet I had all along and I ignored it. Where is the spill? This is an unwanted, unresolved space. Once the resonance happens maybe the world can come back in.

1 astrolabe
1 new moon
1 spherical slice of transgression
A question of the woman in the space of pleasures

Infuse the drink with bagged mountain air, swirl it around in your mouth, ask it to talk dirty talk to you, wait for an approach to take shape.

OBJECTIVITY COCKTAIL. Endearment resists you. The process of uncovering is the statement if there is one at all. When do you reclaim the uncovering for yourself? What does the procedure mean for you? Back to the body, back to the brain. Strain desire through a sieve.


We remember what we want because we don’t have it. 

People try to love you but they will love you in ways that are oppressive. 

The moon has a flavor and a scent.

Our trauma of the present is not that we suffer but we enjoy. 

You ate almost all the oysters that night.

To only indict is not changing history.

What have I to show apart from a full-fledged ponytail. 

Nobody has ever looked at me the way you look at me.

Your baby’d be so damn cute.

Nobody gave you to me. Nobody said that’s the one for you.

You don’t remember the conversation but you thought I meant something else.

My shoulders, sobbing, in fact.

You said, no, nobody.

You might bear the brunt of someone else’s bad karma.

Wearing identity like a perfume.

Who does this body even belong to.

You mangle the Tagalog words more than the French words.

You almost killed yourself over Tres Leches cake.

A rice paddy is a desert.

You packed up your stuff quickly, and left.

You kept saying kismet. And kismet just kept happening. Kismet came all over my face.

There’s no way to say “I love you” in my father’s language.

Having your cake and eating it too. 

Let everyone see you leaving and going to another place. Maybe those rebels will notice you.

Shaheen Qureshi is a first-generation Filipina-Pakistani American writer, editor, and teacher. Her work invokes post-colonial sites of pleasure and has recently been published in Pinsapo Press, Form IV, and Tayo. She co-curates the online reading series Here I am Again. Follow on Instagram @here_i_am_again_reading.

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