I see you still tote
that corn kernel yellow star
they got for you last Christmas.
But I mistook the logo on your bag
for something etched
into the fabric of a family tapestry,
not the fabric of designer brands.
Would you want to see a tapestry
on my head, a stitched crescent
for all to stare and nod at?
Does my silent brand not suit you?
Would you like a law
allowing you to point and say
‘Yes, she makes sense now’?
Would you like embroidered
flowers that look like planes,
colors that all resemble blood,
folds that only strangle?
Those could all be taken off.
Why not take a hot iron
to my forehead and make it
After all, they don’t sell
at my local department store.
~ Erum Khan
Erum Khan is a Pakistani writer based in Orange County. She studied English, Creative Writing, and South Asia studies at UC Berkeley and has been published in Cicada Magazine, Al-Bayan, and Maganda.