Hunting Out Home – Imran Boe Khan

how strange to be out of place

Thank you very much to Imran Boe Khan for his exceptional contribution. He is a ‘keen admirer’ of the work done at Maggie’s Centre. Imran teaches creative writing and his work has recently appeared, or is forthcoming, in the Rumpus, Menacing Hedge, Juked and Heavy Feather Review. He has had work anthologised in a special edition of Writing for Peace. Khan is a previous winner of the Thomas Hardy Award and we really appreciate his kind submission.

Hunting out Home 

A body remembers everything, fluid plots of time

brine life beneath the skin, moments detach from their birth places

– how strange to be out of place, a fear heaped in desire, 

birdsong trapped in a down town gutter.

I’ve withstood the hours long enough to earn my badge, 

a flood of dopamine amongst the ruins.    

It’s the blossom in the black, the adventure beneath the dry rot, 

some figure in the blood will console us. 

I stare at a pulsing canopy for hours

flaunting its centre, the countless peripheries hurt my skin,

but I see the path made clear. Piece by piece I peel from the still place, 

hunt out home. As my feet pitch and howl,

I cough up new constellations, drag myself into the woods 

behind an old lover’s house, sling her abandoned canoe.

Awed by the strength of a boat dock, I covet the sea.

I have a sink to drain, a set of keys to leave behind, 

but the river is stronger. I grip an oar, grip a prayer,

pursue the scent of a world we thought had come to its end.

Two unlocked doors pivot eyes towards my absence.

I’ve abandoned nothing I would not abandon again.

Imran Boe Khan, Dorset 

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

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