Khalida Moosa

Poems By Khalida Moosa

My writing is the only way I know to have a voice. My silence has for too long led me to believe that I have no say. I am reclaiming myself through my telling.


Language lost

Rage sucked out my words

fire licked each letter

burning holes through the entire alphabet,

leaving gaping holes.


Language lost

leaves a landscape of



I search through the words

woven by others

to find the meaning of my world

to find my voice in the ink of another

to finally breathe

-this too has a name.


My tongue has torn away from safety

to sow seeds of fear

among men who believe

my silence to be virtue.


Breaking, tearing, pulling

at the words I have hidden,

the locks coming undone

to whispers that weep.


An unmoored tongue

is a dangerous organ,

each utterance

crumbles the bars of my cage.


Women silenced too long

become killing machines

armed to the teeth.


Men wish me mute

shove their shame onto me

I smell their fear,

watch them try to still 

-my voice

-my zabaan

they will have to cut it out

to remain safe.


  • Zabaan (urdu) – tongue