Imran Boe Khan


When the curtain opened, I fell towards the dead,

enveloped the man who taught me to fold up inside myself

and wait. Centuries later, visiting archaeologists clustered in the hall,

scoured the bones bleeding from my mouth.

Their tea brewed from the ash I was buried under.

I think a child removed my dirty blanket and muddy socks

and if God spoke, it was in the carriage where comedy and tragedy

are indistinguishable. All of his gospel had been hacked

to bits by their clatter of hands inside my bones. His glory is the dead end of abuse,

an arrow pinwheeling back to the bow, but here, a fistful of metal

grew in me until whatever disease of the spirit my chest concealed

poured out as tea leaves, and I was suddenly giving myself back

to dust, healing beneath the ground, making myself into something new,

a face capable of grinning through the cull, the devil you’d like to grasp.


Imran Boe Khan has recent work appearing in places such as the Rumpus, The Bitter Oleander and Juked. He has won the Thomas Hardy Prize and has had poetry nominated for Best of the Net. He lives in Christchurch, Dorset with his wife and children.



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