about the author

Mina Khan is a queer, mixed Asian-American writer and poet. Originally from the Bronx, Mina spends their academic year at Wesleyan University, majoring in Government and Creative Writing. Mina has been published in journals such as Independent Voices, the Claremont Review, and Best College Essays of 2016. They featured in Wesleyan’s 2016-2017 official slam poetry team and made their spoken word debut at CUPSI, a national slam competition. Since then, Mina has focused on written work, much of which focuses on themes of trauma and heritage.

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One Poem  

Mina Khan



my mother starved for the first 17 years of her life
my 18th year i ingested more cum than food
felt fat like lard melt off my bones
15 pounds, a heap on the ground.
i sink
mingling into the corals, larvae

i rest; i drown; i congeal


my mother does not drink. neither alcohol nor water. does not explain why. says that she has a condition. a curse. she waits for alzheimer’s.

the strongest trigger of memory is scent.
           whiskey is her husband. bruises at 3am.
           sake is her father. burns strong and bitter.
           rice wine is her mother. fed infant spoonfuls to stave off hunger.
starvation smells like childhood.
seventeen tispy years.
           does not drink water.
           neither does her brother
                      resilient youth
           the boy is in the backyard
           decay/ ing
                                                     sink/ ing

there is no solution to sorrow but rivers
she runs to him; too late


my boyfriend returns home. dressed in snowflakes. tuesday, late afternoon.
i do not kiss him. hello nor goodbye.
goodbyes are better wished in silence. in blank gazes
face to the wall, back to the window
i think
he smells like my father

i do not exchange fluids or saliva
my needles are clean;
insides still stagnant stale
mosquito-infested pool
but i am glad of this;

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