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from our poet of the month: Mehnaz Sahibzada

Two Faces

Getty/ Fotostock32

"You find / your optimism stuttering. / Sometimes you let yourself / pray then judge yourself"


Sometimes you wake up
to sadness in your mind.
Nothing has happened yet,
and you are already hopeless. 

The things you think about
to feel angry come singing
to the surface, and now the
coffee doesn’t taste so  

good anymore, and you
can suddenly sense your
impatience with the world,
the buzzing phones and 

mounting traffic. You find
your optimism stuttering.
Sometimes you let yourself
pray then judge yourself 

for engaging in some
antiquated practice. Other 
times you decide to let yourself
be angry. Because wouldn’t it 

be toxic to push these feelings
down now? Though mostly
what upsets you is something
you could never control. This is 

when you start to notice that
there are two voices inside
of you. The cynic who gets angry
and the poet who observes.

Listen to Mehnaz reading Two Voices:

Mehnaz Sahibzada shares her experience of poetry with S&H:

"Over the past few years, I’ve written many speculative poems--channeling dark, romantic, and suspenseful moods to process my experience.  Through a mysterious lens, I’ve explored topics as diverse as aging, introversion, creativity, and spirituality."

Select poems from My Gothic Romance by Mehnaz Sahibzada. Copyright © 2019 by Mehnaz Sahibzada. Reprinted with permission of Finishing Line Press. 

Read more poems:

I will be My Mother's Apprentice by Carmen Giménez Smith

CONFETTI by Mehnaz Sahibzada

About the Author

Mehnaz Sahibzada was born in Pakistan and raised in Los Angeles.  She is a 2009 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow in Poetry.  Her work has appeared in numerous publications, such as LiminalityMoiraThe Literary HatchetEllery Queen Mystery Magazine, and Pedestal Magazine.  Her first full-length collection, My Gothic Romance, was published in April 2019 by Finishing Line Press.   A high school English teacher, she lives in southern California.  To learn more about Mehnaz, visit her at

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