Unearthing Venus: A Poem Compilation


by Zara Sofea

overflowing in me is

a realisation i had

my body thrown into this otherworldly matter

with a violence so great

a force big enough to expel

the pollution that almost destroyed me

battered me, scarred me

the fear of being “undesirable”

against the force i try but fail to name

reminding me that i am made up of

love-stained traces of the past

marks that were never meant to be forgotten

remnants of who we once were—

a girl, my grandmother,

whose nose is button shaped like mine

i wish to love her more

a boy, somewhere in the debris of the past

whose big ears shaped like mine

deserved to be loved more

and i am its vessel

this little strange thing

i am its vessel

i blurt out loud, hands trembling

as i look them in the mirror

there is a pause,

then i give them a gentle embrace

worth thousands 

of years 

When We Emerge From the Dirt

by Zara Sofea


The big machine wants us in knots,

But it wants us alive as well

A pretty lace-tied gift adorned with living breathing scars

Shards of glass etched into our tracheae, with each piece angled precisely

The relentless push and pull, over and over in a monotonous cycle

It knows very well how much we hurt

What it doesn’t know is that it cannot stop the blood from seeping through

Crawling through the gaps

Like earthworms in the cold night rain 


My vain, selfish grief engendered by it all

The corner of my heart that wishes for a way in

Bitterness and repulsion entwined,

Forming an organ of its own

Listen, I know you hope for another way

The day your lies face erosion

And all envy dies



You’ll able to go to the grave without worrying over how you look fossilized

And the world will finally be silent


I am made to be the gardener, sculptor, and artist of my body

All that is asked of me, with no reason speakable

But there are times I yearn to plant something unsightly, and care for it too much

To sculpt a mess of things, and love it regardless

To speak incoherently, and still be understood

Until I become the earthworm writhing in the ground, in all of its little splendour

Because there is, I think, still joy left for those who walk away from the big machine

A Burial

by Natasha

In the morning we walk down to the river,

The light of the silence wraps us like mourning shawls

On our already heavy shoulders,

The shoulders on which we carry the wooden box,

Weighing down on us with its emptiness,

We walk with it on us all morning.

Down the river the soil puckers up,

Ready to receive, ready to take in,

They inhale the morning dew

And they swell up to meet us,

Wooden box already down,

We sing our goodbyes.

Goodbye to the unspoken nights

Of starving and pinching and pulling,

Of the snipping and the slapping,

Of handheld mirrors and ugly truths,

Of the crashing of a million cymbals

And the stifled screams and tears,

The realization that the cup will never fill

No matter how much the water pours.

We cover the top with the soil,

From our bodies we grab handfuls of,

From the stubborn curls of our hairs,

From the celestial stars dotting our dark skins,

From the firmness of our hips,

From the flowing hairs on our thick legs and arms,

From the graceful ridges of our noses,

We gather it with our hands that knows only love,

And we spread it gentle, gentle, gentle.

Twinges and Aches of a Shapeless Being

by Zara Sofea 

The girl wishes she was a ghost. She doesn’t wish to die. Only to exist without the physical body. She would take long walks at night and bury her bare feet in the dirt, feeling every slight prick as if it were the first time. She’d scream unforgivingly. Live unforgivingly. Above, the moon would look down at her in a secret only the two of them shared. And there would be no skin to drink in its light.

The girl, unconsciously engraved in her mind, believes that beauty is piety. A minor condition in exchange for the gift of life and all of its wonders. Under the corset, she is forced to become unrecognisable. A blurry silhouette, ever-morphing in front of the mirror. But she longs for something more, and it seeps into her brain like a toxin and fills every crevice. It fills and fills with every passing day. At last, it erupts, and she chooses to let it all go. 

The toxin is liberating, and the girl then reclaims her body. It is with a full heart she redefines what beauty means to her. She exists for herself; No longer a victim. No longer a mourner. 

Written by: Zara Sofia & Natasha

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