We’re Tired

of perceiving an assaulted woman’s trauma
Through the sheen of a hand-held device.
To scrutinize global divide, through some-

Thing you put away to the side. Never to
allow your mind to drift there again –
because you were there for a long time.

You’re conscious that this has been going on
forever with your kind, but they didn’t
listen then. Now they have listened anew,

and again want us to do something.
But we are spent – compelling you see what
Was there, which you snubbed or perhaps

didn’t see. We’ve finally unraveled systems
and kingpins before our eyes. We will put
our phone to the side and write now. Not of

misfortune, nor of the prejudice or the misogyny.
But of parables which came before the hue of
our skins came alive.

by Neha Maqsood


[Editor’s Note: This piece is part of the “Topical” series, with each piece solely submitted to and chosen by the Final Reader Pietra Dunmore.]


Neha Maqsood is a Pakistani multi-media journalist and poet. Her poetry has been featured in numerous literary journals and magazines, including Ambit, Kenyon Review, Strange Horizons, Aleph Review and Gutter Magazine. Her debut poetry book, ‘Vulnerability’ was awarded the 2019-2020 Hellebore Poetry Scholarship Award and will be published by Hellebore Press in 2021.

You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @ItsNehaMaqsood.


See what happens when you click below.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “We’re Tired”?

I wrote the first draft of the poem towards the end of 2020 and I don’t really believe that I wrote it; I think that the words essentially sought refuge from my mind and spilled out onto a Word Document on my computer. My frustration about the pandemic revealing the different gaps between communities – healthcare access or sexism within family settings and the workplace – and the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter, make up the essence of the piece. 

The poem also captures a personal sadness and an exhaustion about being a writer of colour. Us writers have stories beyond the colour of our skin; of love, life, loss, ambition and rejection, but we’re only ever considered within certain boundaries and labels society has seemingly imposed on us. I like to believe that this poem will be the last time I ever write about race or it’s implications within global society, but unfortunately, I don’t think it will.


Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

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Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now closed. The reading period for standard submissions opens again March 15, 2023. Submit here.


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