Irteqa Khan


“indeed, you are of a tremendous nature” – al qur’an, 68:4

hungry pilgrims destructive yet parturient, slighting the circle in sacred geometry
lovefire on wobbly legs crawling away to hurt in the maw of plastic gods    
invocation for semi humans, homeless and hazmatic, near perfect in the mind
rhapsody of remedial work, softpeaks in the moulder, unopened prophetic medicine
you are your mother’s child, ransom for salvation, suffused in leaking light
reverent company, remolding undergrowth, the body as odyssey
smile today question tomorrow, what is left in the world, but fire and fissures
lift as you climb, claim your flowers while you’re still here, relapse into your gold neurons
a feast of mana in store, for not wanting anymore, swallow song of conscripted souls
the unction is the earth is the river is the pearl is the divine is the good in you
lay down your rose rot, teeth-aching atrophy, curve away from the traffic in talk
so the archangel of the veil, can admire the howling dance that grows of purpose in you


Irteqa Khan is a Muslim-Canadian historian and poet of Pakistani heritage who lives in the prairies. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and appears in Homology Lit, The Brown Orient, L’Éphémère Review, and Spring Magazine among others. She is currently working on poems inspired by the stories, sounds, scents, and sights of home for her first chapbook.