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the sun rises


& israel drags his feet across gaza’s chest.

settles across her skin & waits empty-eyed for 

it to tear

& a white man sits atop amerikkka & calls 

brown skin a furnace. says that we consume

each other in smoke & flame. that it is better

we burn each other to ash than intrude on his 


& a cop in punjab empties out a cartridge.

cleans it out in a young singh’s body & names

it necessity. decides to side with a system that

puts food on the table & bodies in rivers

& a woman floats in space. stares at the earth 

as the sun cowers behind it. watches existence

light up in twinkling cities & villages. wishes

humanity could step back to stare at itself.


Excerpt from When You Ask Me Where I’m Going (HarperCollins, 2019)

The Eyes I Chose 


soft because none of us are the same people we
were five or ten or two years ago. soft because 
peonies exist. soft because my plants managed to
persist patiently waiting for water. soft because i
know what it is to not want to wake up in the 
morning. soft because there is a bloodhound
somewhere who has befriended a duckling. soft
because he thinks the duckling is a puppy. soft 
because i carry four losses inside my chest–one
for each cavity of my heart. soft because i’m 
running out of cavities. soft because i’ve been 
hard on myself for so long. soft because i don’t 
know what you’re carrying. soft because i don’t 
know how much more weight will cause it all to 
fall through your arms. soft because we’re both 
human. soft because coral melted into gold at 
dawn. soft because i want you to still be here in 
the morning. 

Jasmin Kaur is a writer, illustrator and poet living on unceded Sto:lo First Nations territory. Her writing, which explores themes of feminism, womanhood, social justice and love, acts as a means of healing and reclaiming identity. Named a “rising star” by Vogue Magazine and a “Writer to Watch” by CBC Books, she has toured across North America, the UK, and Australia to connect with youth through the power of artistic expression. Her debut poetry and prose collection, When You Ask Me Where I’m Going (2019) was shortlisted for the Goodreads Choice Awards. Her sophomore novel, If I Tell You The Truth (2021), is releasing on January 19th 2021. Currently an MFA student in the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing program, Jasmin can usually be found daydreaming about the next story she’s itching to tell.

These poems were first included in issue 11 & issue 111 of Pluvia

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