to commemorate my displacement By Zoha B. Khan

to commemorate my displacement

All I have ever read about
is finding home, coming home, being home.
Everyone is trying
to keep their heads above the current, holding on until
it sweeps them away to somewhere they’ll want to settle,
sinking to the bottom, human sediment
on seabed-home, weighed down by belonging.

Nobody talks about the rootless people.

We are
the unmarked, halves and quarters pieced together in the no-man’s land
of displacement, immigrant generation twice the misfits our parents are,
sedentary nomads, wanderers.
We are swamped by heritage, by legacy, and set adrift.
Atlas bows to us because we carry five skies and
a galaxy or two, all the hopes of our families, both here and
there, the place they tell us to go back to.
We ride the tide, hoping to be thrown up
on stranger shores; they ask us when we’ll throw down the anchor and we mumble a
response, happiest let loose.

They tell us we should want to stay.

They think we search for anchors, to cure our individual curses of
winged feet, flipper feet, hooved feet,
pegasi and mermaids and children of Hermes, only needing reins to realize
the error of our ways,
but we’re just here to have a look.
To witness and leave.
Every day is homecoming; every new heart and every new home
is as beloved of us as the previous and the next.
We diverge from you in the need to keep, to have, to possess.
If you love us, cut us loose.

By Zoha B. Khan


Zoha is busy being all the things Pakistan reckons are impossible or illegal to be. She has a blog (, updated in between challenging societal norms and causing scandal wherever she goes. Poetry, jewelry, ice cream and lists help keep her anxiety under control and make her happy.

Leave a Reply