Like Ichor, But Not Ichor.
There is a saying somewhere / about drinking from chipped crockery. / Full lips / aren’t
supposed to trace tremors, / and white glue can’t fix the breaks. / They just keep coming,
kids. / I pour hot tea onto flat plates / - not to fix them - / but because my ancestors did. / The
dinosaurs in my blood / are tyrannosaurus rex, / pterodactyl, / Pakistani. / Like the tea, / they
are warm. / And my smile / - though big - / can’t keep it together. / It escapes sometimes, /
like shoelaces, / fingers on my wrist, / a young man’s pinched eyebrows / on an old man’s
Whole geographies / and the airport walkways / my arms have become. / And no man is an
island, / though I’ve convinced myself / that I am. / Not a man. / But capable of crooked
China. / My guests know this best of all. / We take our shoes off / before we step somewhere.
/ Muscle memory, / a compulsion. / Like three spoons of sugar. / Like the hand that rests on
the warm forehead. / The rim / of something drinkable / on our horizons. / With our eyes, /
we exercise our appetites. / The hunger of being broken. / The chipped cup, / steeped and
Mariam Ansar is a graduate of the University of Cambridge. Her work has previously been published in BuzzFeed, Catapult Story, Rookie Magazine, Dazed, VICE, Teen Vogue, Elite Daily, and others.