Nameera Anjum

Three Poems

Self Portrait

I will write my face in a tangerine song,
In a sleeveless, low-cut blouse that exposes my nape to a crowd of
Rotten vegetables;
That I eat at noon and save inside my cavities.

My mouth is a beehive but I don't spill honey on plain pages,
I say a sour prayer hidden under the black veins of a tongue that I never owned-
She is either a mistress of the world or a slave to my rage. 

Strings of guitar,
That is how these fingers caress my flesh;
At times, they're a bit too rigid
So I bite them under silk pillows and golden trophies.

I will talk about myself,
But a stye blinds me-
The mucus and the pus, a river I'd rather drink from than 
Watch this reflection crawl down my throat. 

Best Friend

An obituary:
R.K. Narayan wrote one to his father,
I will write to a dead root from my
Childhood's glass of carrot juice.

The gap between my arms is the distance I have never measured,
I'm still very special;
A wheatish lizard stuck to the off-white corridor,
Memories are made and I forget why these chocolate brown walls will never melt in my mouth. 

I chew upon a sandwich,
Taking the bite of a tomb tasting fresh, wet sand
I pretend to smile but there's a poem stuck in my head,
You are dead;
I search for words and plaster you back to life.

I was a walking parchment
The chipped paint on the corner of your mouth,
Your teeth as yellow as the sunshine;
Mine as yellow as yours
As dead as an autumn leaf that confuses its crumbling with acceptance.

I don't sing anymore,
I leave letters to your grave promising to never return.

Each promise is a poem I can never complete.


My neck is a loose bolt 
A napkin spread on the lap;
There's jam on my bread and there's butter on your toast,
We call it a dinnertime riot.

While breakfast moans the name of some extravagant ray of sunshine he has lost,
I sleep in my cubicle
Where the royal blue notice board is the only one that's glad for my
My night extends and the afternoon yawns at the immobile ceiling fan,
A playground to the winter dust. 

The distant tea washes over me
This sense of longing
I will not describe-
Because I eat harsh words and they
Always come out in pangs of
I will not describe my river of peace
Doused in ginger;
Marking an absence of the sweet folly
In exchange for home.

Comes the mouth of black
And her luminating iris,
My jam and your butter-
We roll over to each other's side of the bed,
I realise I'm talking to empty space.

I can hear the curtains laugh,
Gorgeous pink satin-
A childhood toy and three light bulbs
The flickering shrieks of
Some pages between my laughter lines; 
My tongue
A midnight crisis
Swims into a spoonful of

Nameera Anjum is an intern columnist at Imperium Publication. She edited Janmat, the departmental magazine at St. Xavier’s College, and served as Assistant Editor at Illuminatus: Research Journal, Department of Economics and Political Science (2019-20). She has volunteered at Mansagar Clean-up drive’, The Green Dream Foundation (2019), and was awarded first position at the Veethika, Slam Poetry Competition, Maharani College, Jaipur