Kanza Javed


And now I reap this kind of fear

How will it feel

To be shot outside a grocery store by a lone white gunman in America

Or perhaps,

Be stoned to death in front of Lahore high court in broad day light

In the name of religion and honor

Death has climbed in bed with us

Like a scared child in the middle of the night

You have said too much






Kanza Javed was born in Lahore, Pakistan. Her debut novel, Ashes, Wine and Dust was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize.
She was a fellow at University of Massachusetts, studying Comparative Public Policy, in 2011 and an American Literature research scholar at Arizona State University in 2015 with Pakistani Immigrant writing being her primary field of research. She is currently an MFA student and, Fiction and Composition instructor at West Virginia University.

"The poem captures my own confusion surrounding the word, home. I oscillate between two countries, both I believe are on fire. Lahore is home because I am deeply in love with it. I write about the changing city and the changing people. America where I study and teach, I enjoy personal liberty but I am also, always aware of my loneliness and outsider identity. It is also a home to me.
Where do you go from here?
(In 2014, a pregnant woman was stoned to death by her family outside the Lahore high court. That image has haunted me since and has been referenced to in the poem.)"