The Dead I must Feed

by Imran Boe Khan

Have shunned the earth’s urge
towards erasure, no longer yearning
to rest in dirt but so profoundly sneaking
their listless souls into my ears
and whispering in unison with such dissonance
that I can no longer make out my
grandmother’s soft but insistent advice
to find the truth and learn to bear it,
or my lover’s frantic cries, distant and proximate,
daring me to give her everything I am,
but meaning nothing by it. I know the dead
only pretend to stay dead. Enough of them
have wrested themselves from their dark
so I am not alone in my own surging darkness
as I pursue a peace I don’t remember losing.

Imran Boe Khan’s work has appeared in places such as Sixth Finch, The Rumpus, Cosmonauts Avenue, Yes, Poetry, and The Bitter Oleander. A previous winner of the Thomas Hardy Prize, he is the author of Hive (Pen and Anvil Press, 2020) and has had poetry nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Imran is a lecturer at Bournemouth University and lives in Christchurch, Dorset.

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