Fire Blanket: Highly Flammable | Free Word

A curated collection of poems from Writer, Poet and Editor Bayan Goudarzpour




It’s accurate to say that I think about all my loves more than anything. I think I wish them away from harm until I realise how often I want a blooming handprint of hope slapped and stinging across their wrists. I want for them happy endings in New York, good tea-leaf fortunes, all the green shades of dolma, piles of guineps on kitchen countertops in the morning, a you look beautiful tonight by well-meaning dates over dancefloors or bars or breadbaskets and I want, I want, I want so much for the ones who, like me, glow soft like the backlight of laptop-keyboards when touched by fingertips.





Not all side-hustles pay


For the one whose back you want to rest your forehead against / for the tide of love or for the hunger of it / for the inability to ask someone to come closer / for the neighbourhood cats who don’t need asking / for Johnny Cash’s first wife / for Johnny Cash’s second wife / for wanting to be held even only as briefly as traffic lights hold cars / for the kindness of the akhira outweighing the misdirection of this dunya / for my grandfather who never smoked but rolled all my grandmother’s cigarettes / for the ability to say there is no word for this in English / for the Mortal Kombat Finish Him voice that sounds in your head when you send a risky text / for gripping onto the ledge of a bottom lip with your teeth / for the lime at the bottom of a glass / for the one who digs theirs out of ice to give to you / for the pull of wanting to pop their fingers in your mouth / for resisting the pull / for all the times you will say fuck him, sis / for all the times you will fuck him, sis / for the Star Trek blooper reel when you get home / for the God that only praises you back with precise eyeliner every time.







Even though my wedding gold is collecting dust, I spend too

much time on twitter and I still navigate my way through


London based on where I’ve had my best kisses with you.

Where I’ve walked with your arm around my shoulder


knowing so much of me counts on being held up and held in

by lace. Lingerie is the most expensive form of pain killer.


Every picture I take and send, I lie and say I am choosing

myself. I have so many ways to avoid actually telling someone


I’m not too much but I’m not enough. Ask me about the stitch

count on this silk instead of how often I’ve made myself sick.


I get a headache thinking about you and that’s all it takes to

send me back into a pink velvet dressing room with a pharmacist


who has measured every inch of me, standing outside the curtain,

holding out the strongest dose in the form a tiny black set.


Spring Collection. It’s perfect enough to hold back the oncoming

nosebleed from the migraine. On the tube back, the man next


to me is reading an article titled ‘You are unhappy because you

refuse to grow up’ – before scrolling past the first paragraph, he


catches sight of my bag, guesses what’s inside. Asks for my

number. I decline only because he isn’t you. Only because I


don’t like the thought of sitting pretty for him, anywhere

outside this carriage. When I get home, the urge to send you a



picture is smashing itself against the back of my teeth. Instead, I tear

off price tags and imagine you calling just to ask me how I am doing.




Illustration by Kareem Parkins-Brown.


Losing Touch

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The Year That Was

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