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Sophia Naz

Kanchan Chander, ‘Queer Moods’, acrylic on canvas, 43 inches x 27 inches, 2017

In your teenage a niggling

detail kept on tugging

at the reins Buraq was

an anagram of burqa, winging

desire of a prophet on

his night journey painted

in lurid art of transport

half veiled on rickshaw truck and bus

drivers changing gears always

brushed up against your shalwar

leg jammed too tight to squirm

you would dream of the kick

as an anonymous horse-

woman would gut

his teeth in a flash

lightning bringing

a lost smile

back to your lips.


Barq is the Urdu word for lightning.

Pushcart Prize nominee (2016), Sophia Naz is a poet, writer, translator and an editor published in numerous literary journals including Poetry International Rotterdam, The Adirondack Review, Scroll, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Daily ODawn, BlazeVOX, The Stonecoast Review, Cactus Heart, Askew Poetry, Bank Heavy Press, Spilled Ink, Lantern Journal, Convergence, Antiphon Poetry UK, AAJ, The Sunflower Collective, AntiSerious, Zubaan Journal, Pseudomag, The Ghazal Page, Life & Legends among others. Her poetry collections are Peripheries, Pointillism and Date Palms. Naz is Poetry Editor at The Sunflower Collective and City, a Quarterly of South Asian literature.  She is the founder of Rekhti, a site on avant-garde Urdu poetry. Her website is