November 2016: Farah Ghafoor
Farah Ghafoor is a sixteen-year-old poet and the editor-in-chief of Sugar Rascals. Her work is published or forthcoming in Ninth Letter, alien mouth, and Big Lucks among other places, and has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Farah is the recipient of the 2016 Alexandria Quarterly Emerging Artists and Writers Award. She believes that she deserves a cat.
They Say Ithaca Isn’t the Only Place Where Husbands Don’t Come Home
And still she murmurs like a good wife,
a good dog, sweet things as if the outside
and its wind of knives and fluorescence
never parted you. Somehow, you were
present enough to kiss our foreheads but
not look us in the eye. To hold our hands
but not to kindle them. Did you fear the land
that wanted to keep you, graceless under
the grass? Did you fear the people who were
always the shovel? Your son waits with his tongue
held between his teeth. He leaves to return,
carrying his manhood in his mouth. He doesn’t make
promises, keeps love where nobody can see it.
Come home alone and I will be more forgiving.
Come home and Ithaca will hang a melody
across the sky, ease the sirens away, our beds
warm. She will fill your name in her lungs instead
of air. Don’t give yourself to what keeps you away
from us, you and your spit of salt and mistakes
in your god’s palace. You don’t have to pray
for something to drown in when you are human.
We surrender to white foam and little bites
that eat away at our skin. The waves you have loved
pounce at my feet like animals and still I carve
a love note across the beach over and over
as the crystal flows violently to take the place
of my fingers. It laps it up, sunlight at its back,
and rolls over like a good dog. The dog used to winning
games, best at playing dead, belly up and floating.
A Brief Conversation with Farah Ghafoor
Richa: Hi Farah, it's great to talk to you! So, what motivates you to write?
Farah: Gorgeous landscapes, classic literature, and everyday conflicts, both implicit and explicit. Whether I want to write or not, poems just start piecing themselves together in the back of my head whenever these subjects come along.
Richa: How did you begin your writing journey?
Farah: I started writing terrible haikus in the second grade after I noticed one on the cover of my sister’s summer workbook. I just thought that it was really fascinating how people can create stories with such limited words.
Richa: What's the greatest challenge you face in your writing career?
Farah: I’m trying to overcome self-censorship, and to try writing about topics that make me uncomfortable. Like many writers, I struggle when deciding how much I want to reveal abut my thoughts and life to the world.
Sugar Rascals is currently accepting submissions for its second issue, whose deadline to submit is December 15, 2016! To learn more, click here!