“Burn Victim” by Aanya Sheikh-Taheri

You were razors and acid and vinegar.
You were midnight and broken glass and storms and leaky roofs and creaky gates and abandoned dark roads
and steel boots and chainsaws,
and you were drunk and angry and she only wanted to be loved.
Your tongue was turpentine and sand paper and shoe polish and salt
and hers was an open gaping wound.
In the dark corner of the bedroom your hands were metal baseball bats and hockey sticks and bricks and rusted pipes,
and she was sleepy and soft and not wearing a helmet.
Your screams were whiskey and pennies and insecurity and tobacco and matches and kerosene, and her face was the tear-stained quiet of the early dawn,
and when you covered her mouth with your blistered hands,
all she could imagine, all she prayed for
was the smoke to fill her lungs,
and the room to go up in flames.



Aanya Sheikh-Taheri’s poems have appeared in a variety of literary magazines and journals such as Hypertrophic Literary Review, Loud Zoo, Door is a Jar Magazine, and The MacGuffin. Her most recent poetic achievement came in May of 2016 when she was selected to read her chapbook “Expiration Date” as the Robert Sund Memorial Poet at the renowned biennial Skagit River Poetry Festival in La Conner, Washington.

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