May I Write? by Mahek Khwaja

Dear Cixous,

​       If women write through their bodies,

May I write?

I have a woman’s soul

In a man’s body

Coarse and reeky like an old footwear’s sole.

​        I have got a voluptuous soul

Subjected to the burdens of masculinity.


I wear rationale and chivalry

To attain social sanity.

​          Being a misfit in my own body

May I wipe my bleeding testicles?

I do not have a mother’s womb

But I am pregnant with the grief

Of being ostracized, being isolated.

​            Do I not look tired

Like a mother who has just delivered

A secret?

​​May I write

And bleed on the paper?

MAHEK KHWAJA, M.A in English Literature, currently works as Manager Publishing at a Publishing House in Karachi. Independently, she also works as an ethnographic researcher; in relation to that Shifting Identities in Modern Sindh: Bhil and Kohli Hindus of Khebar in the Shia Ismaili Muslim Community is recent research that got published by Brill. Being a scribbler, her works have been published on platforms like Cerebration: A Literary Journal, Hektoen International, Mehwar, The Rapport, The Perspective Magazine, Radical Zine, Pakistani Facts, and Zau Literary Magazine. She has also contributed to two print anthologies namely Tales from Karachi and 1000 Stories by 1000 Authors. She performs Spoken Word for private YouTube channels too. She teaches at community schools in a voluntary capacity to combat melancholy in her life.

Leave a Reply